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Cantor Says GOP Finishing Work on Obamacare Alternative, Details Agenda

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., reiterated on Friday that the House plans to bring up a bill to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.  

In a memo to members laying out the House agenda for the remainder of the winter, Cantor noted that the replacement is being finalized, and said that in the meantime, Republicans will work to target parts of the law with which they disagree.  

“As we continue to work to finalize our Obamacare replacement plan, we will also act to highlight and address the serious consequences of the law,” he said.  

The memo highlights an onslaught against the administration’s policymaking, including bills to target Obama’s executive actions, the IRS and the health care law. Cantor said the House will take up legislation in March targeting the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time workload as 30 hours per week, arguing that it removes incentives to work. The bill would define full-time work as 40 hours per week.  

Cantor also noted that the House could consider legislation targeting the law’s mandate that individuals buy insurance or pay a fine and legislation dealing with the ACA’s cuts to Medicare Advantage.  

Setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing this week on the president’s “Constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws,” Cantor said the House will take aim at Obama’s State of the Union promise to use his executive authority rather than wait for Congress to act. He did not specify which bills will be taken up.  

“The House will consider a number of bills the week of March 10th designed to restore the balance of power created by our Founders and require that the President faithfully execute our nation’s laws,” he said.  

This coming week, the House will vote on a slate of bills that Cantor said seek to halt government abuse. Among them are bills to force the IRS to continue using certain standards to determine which organizations can apply for tax-exempt status, rather than enforcing new standards that Republicans believe unfairly target conservative organizations. Other IRS-related bills would put a time limit on how long an individual can be targeted and would prevent the IRS from inquiring about individuals’ religious, political or social beliefs.  

The House will also take up a number of antiregulatory bills, including legislation dealing with propane delivery, construction projects and coal mining.

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