– Defying threats from
Democrats to reject all attempts to curtail President
, the Republican-led House on Saturday amended a government-spending bill to delay the law for a year, increasing the likelihood of a
The 231-192 vote during a rare Saturday night session was a key component of the latest plan by House Speaker
The House also voted 284-174 to repeal a tax that the healthcare law imposes on medical-device manufacturers. A sizable number of Democrats have also supported repealing that tax in the past.
Separately, the House, voting 423-0, approved a bill to ensure members of the
Boehner won resounding approval for the plan from his often rebellious rank and file, who have pressured the Republican leadership to use the end of the fiscal year as leverage to derail the healthcare law. On Tuesday, the administration plans to roll out the online marketplaces that uninsured Americans will be able to use to buy coverage that would start next year.
The leadership presented the plan as one that offers fairness to the American people, since the Obama administration has itself delayed parts of the law that were not ready to take effect. Members often cite the administration's decision to delay imposing a fee on large employers that do not offer some form of health insurance to their employees.
“A one-year delay by people who favor it might actually be what saves it,” said Rep.
The Senate will have just two days to either accept the House changes or dismiss them. Senate Majority Leader
“As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government-funding bill or the debt ceiling,” Reid said. “The American people will not be extorted by
White House Press Secretary
"Republicans have tried and failed to defund or delay the healthcare law more than 40 times, and they know this demand is reckless and irresponsible. The president has shown that he is willing to improve the healthcare law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy," Carney said.
Although most Republicans supported the plan, some privately and publicly worried about the possible political fallout if the strategy were to provoke a shutdown.
At the Saturday afternoon closed-door Republican meeting, Rep.
Leaving a second closed-door Republican meeting just before the first votes, Rep.
"If this is part of a process, fine. I'll vote for it. But we can't let the government shut down. If we do, we've just allowed people to hijack our party and the government," he said.