Budget Chairman: House Budget Won't Include Funds for Obamacare; Spending Bills Will Include 'Mechanisms' to Stop It

January 7, 2011 - 12:00 PM

Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in this March 19, 2010, photo. Republicans are promising to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care overhaul if they win control of Congress. (AP File Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(CNSNews.com) House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Thursday that the budget produced by his committee will reflect spending levels that assume Obamacare has been repealed and that Republicans will then use "mechanisms" inserted into the annual appropriations bills that fund the various departments of the federal government to stop Obamacare.

Given the widely accepted assumption that the Democratic majority Senate and President Barack Obama will not agree to legislation that repeals Obamacare, CNSNews.com asked Ryan if Republicans were going to defund implementation of the health-care legislation instead.

Under the Constitution, the Executive Branch cannot spend money unless it has been appropriated by Congress, and Congress cannot appropriate money without the approval of both the Senate and the House, which the Republicans now control.

"Everyone expects that the repeal bill will pass the House and then either not pass the Senate or certainly not get signed by the president," CNSNews.com asked. "In your budget will there be any funding for that bill?" 

“So, obviously we plan on repealing it and our budget should reflect repeal of the health care law, and we will do that," said Ryan. "The real question I think you are trying to get at is defunding this law. That occurs in the appropriations process. So, what the budget does is send the numbers, the cap, to the appropriators. They write the spending bills. And inside of those spending bills is where we do plan on pursuing other mechanisms of trying to repeal this law."

CNSNews.com asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) yesterday if he would shut down the government in order to save Obamacare if the Republican majority House sent the Senate appropriations bills that included language prohibiting funding for the implementation of Obamacare. Reid did not directly answer the question, but said House Republicans "have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed” and that they “should get a new lease on life and talk about something else.”