WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats expressed a rare touch of nonchalance Wednesday as House Republicans voted to repeal last year’s health care overhaul, since the repeal has little chance of passing the Senate, but behind the scenes, fears are mounting over a more serious threat.
Democratic lawmakers tell The Huffington Post that they increasingly expect Republicans to try and freeze funding for the health care law. Such an attempt would face the same institutional hurdles as a straight repeal vote: a non-compliant Senate and a president wielding a veto pen. But whereas the repeal bill’s death would mean — in practical political terms — absolutely nothing, the inability to pass an appropriations bill could have far-reaching effects.
“They are potentially setting up a situation where they will bring government, all of government, to a screeching halt,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Wednesday. “Not because of the debt ceiling. This is beyond the debt ceiling … If they think they are going to have the end game of their appropriations bills be that they drive health care reform into an early grave … they are literally setting up a full stop for almost everything we will possibly do this year.”