House members voted 227-198 today to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, a measure that creates a framework for blocking Affordable Care Act programs that have a significant effect on federal spending.
All 189 Democrats who participated voted against the resolution.
Nine of the 236 Republicans in the tally voted against the resolution.
The budget resolution directs congressional committees to propose health care budget cuts. The resolution gives the committees the authority to change or eliminate ACA programs that affect the federal budget deficit.
ACA critics are using the resolution to attack the health law because Republicans hold just 52 seats in the Senate. Senate rules normally require supporters of legislation to round up 60 votes to get the legislation through the Senate.
A budget resolution or another type of budget measure, a budget reconciliation resolution, can get through the Senate with just 51 votes. But complicated Senate rules let lawmakers include a provision in a budget measure only if the Senate parliamentarian agrees that the provision is related to the federal budget.
For critics of the Affordable Care Act, any Republican opposition to the resolution is a concern, because Republicans have such a small majority in the Senate. If all Democrats and independents in the Senate vote against a budget measure that would slash ACA funding, ACA supporters would need to win over just three Republicans to keep the ACA and ACA funding in place.
Members of the Senate voted 51-48 to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 Thursday.
All Republicans who participated supported the resolution. But two Senate Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Dean Heller of Nevada, voted for several amendments to the resolution proposed by Democrats. Heller, for example, voted for a proposed amendment that could have prohibited the congressional committees working on budget changes from doing anything to reduce the ability of people with health problems to get health insurance.
President-elect Donald Trump said at a press conference Wednesday that he wants to see Congress repeal the ACA and replace it at about the same time. Either fully repealing the ACA or passing a bill replacing or changing the law would require ACA critics to come up with at least eight Democratic or independent votes in the Senate.
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