As House members prepare to vote Tuesday on another temporary spending bill to fund the government, the majority party's leader maintained a firm commitment to tear apart last year's health reform law.
Cantor vows to 'starve' federal agencies of cash for health reform
“Our committees are going about marking up the bills which will repeal the mandatory slush funds in that bill,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in briefing with reporters Monday, according to a transcript of his remarks. “And we also are committed to starving the agencies of funding necessary to implement that bill. We knew, when the Democrats passed ObamaCare, that the agencies did not have the money necessary to promulgate the regs to implement the bill,” he added. “Our intention is to make sure that we starve the agencies of monies that they need to do so. We are fully committed to making sure that ObamaCare is not implemented.”
Cantor's comment about repealing what he called the “mandatory slush funds” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care was the focus of a hearing last week of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, which expects to introduce legislation to address these funding issues.
This second temporary spending bill that House members will consider Tuesday is designed using the same formula as the previous short-term continuing resolution,according to Cantor. It is consistent, he said, with the Republicans' initial continuing resolutionthat sought to cut $100 billion from President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 request that was never enacted, and $61 billion from fiscal year 2010 levels. “The bill is designed to address a stopgap-funding need for the next three weeks, so it amounts to $6 billion,” in cuts, Cantor said.
Those cuts include $75 million in state health access grants, which applies to the 13 states that receive funding from this HHS program; and also $276 million in flu funding. According to summary from the House Appropriations Committee, which introduced the continuing resolution, this bill reduces “no year” pandemic influenza funding, but continues about $65 million in annual flu funding. "No-year" funding does not include a specific time period for its use.
“There is sufficient carry-over funding available to the agency to cover any necessary long-term costs,” the committee's summary said. “This ‘no-year' funding was eliminated in the president's request, and in the Senate Democrats' most recent CR proposal.
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