Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 30, 2013

Local Reps. vote to delay health law

Government shutdown looms as parties face off over law.

U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski, Todd Rokita and Susan Brooks joined the House Republican majority late Sunday in opposing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, voting in favor of amendments to delay the law for one year and repeal a tax on medical devices.

All three framed their votes as an attempt to avoid a government shutdown, despite a prior warning from Senate Democrats that any attempt to delay the law would be rejected.

“The Senate can easily ensure government keeps running, its members just need to listen to the American people and then they need to act,” Brooks, R-5th District, said in a statement sent prior to the vote.

At stake is a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. The Republican-led House passed the proposal to delay the law 231-192, in one of two amendments attached to a Senate spending bill passed Friday night. The Senate is expected to take up the House amendments when it reconvenes today.

The House vote wasn’t a surprise. Each of the three representatives, who together represent north central Indiana, sent out statements prior to the final vote indicating their positions.

“Please know that the House will continue our efforts to chip away at this health care law,” Walorski, R-2nd District, said. “With Senate support, we have a chance to prove Congress can put partisan politics aside.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and the White House also made it clear, hours before the final House votes, that they would not accept the plan.

“To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one.”

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