Senate rejects Cruz amendment to defund Obamacare

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Politics Digest,Michal Conger

The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have defunded Obamacare until the economy is growing at a “historic” level, about 3 to 4 percent.

All 45 Senate Republicans voted for the “Restore Growth First” amendment, which was introduced today by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The bill was voted down 45-52.

“To implement Obamacare now, when the economy has flat lined, has potential to do enormous harm and enormous damage to the economy,” Cruz said earlier today before the vote.

Cruz was joined at a press conference by Sens. Mike, Lee R-UT, Jim Inhofe, R-OK,  and Rand Paul, R-KY.

“Nancy Pelosi famously said we needed to pass Obamacare to see what was in it,” Lee said. “Now that we know what is in it, it’s critical that we clarify for the American, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who does and does not still support this complex, expensive, and damaging law.”

President Obama said Obamacare would bring insurance premiums down $2,500 for the “typical American family” by the end of his first term. But  today, the average premium has increased $3,000—a $5,500 swing between what was promised versus what has happened, Cruz’s office said.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, opposed the measure, saying the “amendment is equivalent to repeal.”

“This is the 34th time that someone on the Republican side has tried to do away with the Affordable Care Act and it’s failed every time,” he said, according to the Hill. “We’ve already made our decisions on that and we’re moving on.”

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