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Using pen and paper, House GOP draws bead on Obamacare funding

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2013

A North Carolina Republican congressman is leading 79 of his colleagues in calling on the House GOP leadership to "defund Obamacare" through any spending bills that come before the chamber in coming months.

Rep. Mark Meadows is spearheading a letter campaign in the House to strip funds from the Affordable Care Act as part of the upcoming budget debate to keep the government running past Sept. 30.

He and Senate Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas feel it's now or never in the GOP-led bid to dismantle President Obama's signature law, which they say is proving onerous and unworkable.

The Obama administration decided in early July to delay by one year, to 2015, a mandate requiring larger employers to provide health coverage or pay fines.

In addition to Mr. Meadows' inquiry, House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for more information about what led to the decision to delay.

"Obamacare is not ready, and the way it is being implemented is not fair," Mr. Meadows said Thursday. "By choosing to delay the employer mandate, President Obama demonstrated he knows the law is unworkable. If big businesses get a break, hardworking individuals and families deserve the same relief."

Mr. Meadows' letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said the GOP majority should continue efforts "to repeal Obamacare in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful."

"However, in the meantime, there is more we can do in Congress," he wrote.

He said Republican leaders should use the legislative "power of the purse" to defund the health care law through any appropriations bills or short-term spending plans, known as "continuing resolutions," that come before the House in the 113th Congress.

"We look forward to collaborating to defund one of the largest grievances in our time and to restore patient-centered health care in America," Mr. Meadows wrote.

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