(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Congress adopted a budget that will allow Republicans to bypass Democrats and send a repeal or revision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) to President Barack Obama’s desk.
The Senate vote Tuesday was 51-48 on the plan negotiated by majority Republicans in both chambers. The House adopted the measure 226-197 on April 30.
The president has said repeatedly he would veto any proposal to gut or repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) — Obamacare. Yet with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule next month on a challenge to PPACA, Republicans could try to force him to compromise if the court strikes down most of the insurance subsidies that underpin the law.
The budget “gives us the tools to leave Obamacare’s broken promises and higher costs where they belong — in the past,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. “It’s a budget that aims to make the government more efficient, more effective and more accountable to the middle class.”
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Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the budget is “balanced in name only” and cuts items such as financial aid to attend college.
“The Republican budget is unfair, it’s unbalanced, unwise and some said it’s immoral,” Reid said.
The budget measure is a non-binding framework for spending bills to be passed later. It doesn’t go to the president for his signature. Reid said last week that his party would block spending bills based on the budget.
The budget resolution, S.Con.Res. 11, spells out the Republican Party’s priorities by calling for $5.3 trillion in spending cuts to reach balance in nine years. Most of the reductions, $4.1 trillion, would come from programs including entitlements like Medicare.
The plan would use a reserve fund to evade a limit on defense spending while keeping in place caps on domestic programs.
“American families know they can’t live on borrowed money and neither can the federal government,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, said during floor debate.