House Passes Health Care Repeal, Urges Senate to Act

By John R Parkinson

Jan 19, 2011 7:17pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports: 

The House voted Wednesday evening to repeal the Health Care law by a count of 245-189, and already Republicans are turning up the heat on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote for repeal in the Senate. 

All 242 House Republicans voted Wednesday evening for repeal. Three House Democrats joined the House GOP in supporting repeal: Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas. 

The only House Democrat who did not vote was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, who is of course recovering from a gunshot wound to her brain in a Tucson hospital. 

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Reid, D-Nevada, has insisted he will not bring the repeal to the floor for a vote.

“The Republicans have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed,” Reid said at a Jan. 6 press conference.

After today’s House passage, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, posted an online video vowing to bring the repeal to a Senate vote despite the opposition of the chamber’s Democratic majority. 

“Republicans have been listening. And now they're acting,” McConnell said. “I hope the Senate will soon follow suit with a vote of its own. The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to vote on this bill. But I assure you, we will. We should repeal this law and focus on common sense steps that actually lower costs and encourage private sector job creation. That's what Americans want. It's the right thing to do.” 

Earlier Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, also called on Reid to allow a vote in the Senate on repeal rather than leave it there to languish for the next two years. 

 “The American people deserve to see a vote in the Senate, and the Senate ought not be a place where legislation goes into a dead end,” Cantor said. 

Following the vote, House Republicans also began increasing the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to allow a full vote on the Senate floor. 

Rep. Steve King, an early proponent of repeal, said today’s successful vote sends “a very, very strong message,” to the Senate and that the Congress should also work through the appropriations process to cut off funding from being used to “implement or enforce Obama care.” 

“It’s a hot potato, sitting in his lap, getting bigger and hotter by the week,” King, R-Iowa, said. “It’s not a place for bills to go and end. Bring it up for a vote. I think if there’s a vote in the Senate, the repeal passes in the Senate.” 

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe contributed to this report.

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