House debates 40th effort to repeal health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the 40th time, Republicans were pushing legislation through the House targeting President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul on Friday, this time a bill preventing the Internal Revenue Service from implementing any part of that law.

The measure, sure to pass the House but then die, married two of the GOP’s favorite targets: the 2009 health care revamping and the IRS, which in May conceded it had improperly targeted conservative groups seeking tax exempt status for detailed investigations.

“Democrats want to give this agency more power and authority?” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said of the IRS. “They want this agency involved in Americans’ health care? No way.”

Next year, the IRS will begin enforcing the requirement that most individuals have health insurance, collecting fines from people who don’t. The IRS also will distribute subsidies to help people buy insurance in new exchanges.

Friday’s vote will mark the 40th time the GOP-controlled House will have voted to repeal all or part of the law. Most of the measures have died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. A handful have been enacted, including one that reduced small business record-keeping the law had required.

With the House hours away from joining the Senate in a five-week recess, Democrats called Friday’s debate a waste of time aimed at letting Republicans score political points with conservatives.

“Aren’t you embarrassed to go a 40th time in a fruitless, hopeless act?” said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.

The bill, called the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act,” was sponsored by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.

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