House Passes Bill to Keep Government Open, Block Obamacare Subsidies for Congress
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson this evening voted in favor of legislation that would extend government funding at post-sequestration levels through December 15th, delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate for one-year, and require Members of Congress, congressional staff, and political appointees (including White House staff) to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without an employer subsidy for coverage. Congressman Simpson is a cosponsor of two bills that eliminate the employer subsidy for Members of Congress and their staff and has long opposed exempting Congress from the Affordable Care Act’s provisions.
“While Congress works to avoid a government shutdown and protect vital services for the American people, it must also work to ensure those of us living inside the beltway aren’t exempted from the onerous impacts of Obamacare,” said Simpson. “This bill keeps the government funded through December 15th and ensures Members of Congress, their staff, and political appointees aren’t exempted from Obamacare or provided subsidies unavailable to their constituents. That is the right thing to do and with healthcare exchanges opening tomorrow, this is the right time to do it.”
The House approved several revisions to the Senate’s continuing resolution this evening. They include the one-year delay in the individual mandate, the provision ensuring Congress and the White House do not receive an employer subsidy, the extension of the CR expiration date to December 15, a technical change to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, and a provision related to the issuance of Special Immigrant Visas.
“The American people rightly desire a delay in Obamacare, but they are demanding a repeal of President Obama’s special rules that protect taxpayer subsidies for elected officials,” said Simpson. “This bill responds to the demands of the American people, funds the government for the next 75 days, and gives Congress time to finish its important work on the annual funding bills.”
Simpson is also a cosponsor of two pieces of legislation blocking subsidies for federal officials. H.R. 3076, the James Madison Congressional Accountability Act, would block a taxpayer subsidy for the President, Vice-President, executive branch, and Congress in purchasing health plans. H.R. 3067, the NO Obamacare Subsidies for Members of Congress Act, would prohibit a taxpayer subsidy for the purchase of health plans by Members of Congress.