As House Readies First 2014 Vote On Health Law, Sen. Cruz Renews His Attack On The Overhaul
The House Republican leadership seems intent this year on keeping the pressure on the health law, Politico reports. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cruz says Republicans must use "every leverage point available" to get rid of the law.
Politico: House Back To Obamacare Votes In Week 1
House Republicans are back in town — and immediately getting back to the business of anti-Obamacare votes. It's a notable change from the opening week of Congress in the past two years, when Republicans had somewhat relaxed their Obamacare game. In 2012, they were waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the law and in early 2013 they'd just watched President Barack Obama win reelection — after which Speaker John Boehner temporarily declared the Affordable Care Act "the law of the land." The repeal vote last year didn't come until May, and only after freshman Republicans clamored for it (Cunningham and Kim, 1/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Cruz Vows to Step Up Attack on Health Law
In an interview, [Sen. Ted Cruz] lambasted Senate Republicans for a lack of courage, compared himself to Ronald Reagan and vowed to "fight even harder … to repeal every word of Obamacare." Republicans must use "every leverage point available" to uproot the law, he said in a 45-minute discussion in which he mentioned Obamacare more than 40 times, calling it "a disaster" and "the No. 1 job killer in the country" (King Jr., 1/8).
In other Capitol Hill news -
Politico: Darrell Issa Accuses Sebelius Of 'False' Testimony
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa continued his intense push to highlight security risks of HealthCare.gov, accusing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of giving "false and misleading" testimony to Congress. In a letter Wednesday to Sebelius, he accused the secretary of making false statements on several points based on what he characterized as contradictory testimony by the agency's security testing contractors and CMS's chief information security officer, Theresa Fryer (Norman, 1/8).
The Hill: NRSC: Obamacare Hurting Firefighters, Senate Dems To Blame
ObamaCare may create headaches for volunteer fire departments — and the National Republican Senatorial Committee wants to pin the blame on the Senate Democrats who voted for the law. The NRSC will send out press releases later this morning slamming more than a dozen Democratic senators and candidates for backing the law, which they say is endangering volunteer fire departments (Joseph, 1/9).
The New York Times: Two House Democrats Announce Retirement
While [New York Rep. Carolyn] McCarthy's seat is likely to stay in Democratic hands, [Rep. Mike] McIntyre’s district, which includes Wilmington and other parts of eastern North Carolina, is an almost certain pickup for Republicans. After 18 years in Congress, Mr. McIntyre said in a news release, he is ready for a "new chapter" in his life. Republicans saw evidence of Democrats' vulnerability over the health care law in Mr. McIntyre's announcement, which comes on the heels of a decision by Representative Jim Matheson, Democrat of Utah, to retire from the House. Yet Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Matheson both voted against the Affordable Care Act (Wheaton, 1/8).
Politico: Battling Cancer Again, Coburn May Cut Short His Term
Sen. Tom Coburn doesn't seem like a typical cancer patient. The Oklahoma Republican often arrives in his office two hours before his aides, sometimes as early as 4 a.m. He attends virtually all of his committee hearings. And in the evenings, he either dines with his senator buddies at Capitol Hill establishments or attends his weekly meetings of Christian conservatives at the infamous C Street house. But for the past several months, the 65-year-old Coburn has privately been undergoing intensive treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer (Raju, 1/8).