On a campaign swing through the political battleground of Virginia, President Barack Obama on Friday mocked House Republicans for holding yet another vote against his landmark health care law. Thursday's action was the 33 rd time the president's foes in the House of Representatives voted to repeal or defund Obamacare in whole or in part.
"I notice the House of Representatives, the Republicans in the House of Representatives, they voted to repeal it again," Obama said at a rally in Virginia Beach.
"That was the 33 rd time they've done that—33 votes to repeal the health care bill. All it would take is one vote to make sure that all of you don't see your taxes go up next year. You tell me what would be a better use of time," the president said to cheers from the rowdy crowd.
He was referring to his call to extend the Bush-era tax cuts on incomes up to $250,000. Obama wants to see the reductions for higher brackets expire, as scheduled, come Jan. 1. Republicans want to extend all of the tax cuts.
House Republicans plan to vote the final week of July on legislation to prolong the tax cuts for all income levels. The party's majority in the chamber is expected to approve that easily. And Democrats in tough re-election battles could swing behind Speaker John Boehner.
"The unemployment rate is 8.2%. This month Republicans will vote to stop the looming tax hike. The President would like to raise taxes," a spokesman for Boehner, Brendan Buck, said on Twitter.
Obama also defended his record on taxes, underlining that he had signed into law repeated tax cuts for middle class Americans—and got in a dig at a favorite target, Fox News Channel. "Just in case some of your friends and neighbors, or you know, Uncle Jim, who's a little stubborn and has been watching Fox News and he thinks that somehow I raised taxes, let's just be clear: We've lowered taxes for middle class families since I came into office," he said.
And Obama even got in a little jab at lawmakers. The president said—as he has been saying on the stump—that this "will be my last campaign." When that got boos and disappointed "awwws," he quipped: "There's a term limit thing in the presidency. This isn't like Congress, I can't just keep on running."