By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World
KANSAS CITY, KAN. --- Kansas' all-Republican U.S. House delegation today supported the GOP plan that would provide stopgap funding to keep the government running but only if President Barack Obama's health care plan is defunded.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, whose district includes Lawrence, said the Affordable Care Act was hurting the economy and Kansans.
"While the President refuses to act, Kansans who are struggling to fight for themselves and their families in this weak economy have sent me to Washington to fight for them – to help make life a little easier for them. This is what I intend to do, and it starts with repealing and replacing the President’s health care law," Jenkins said.
The measure was approved in the Republican-controlled House 230-189 and now goes to the Senate where Democrats said it is dead on arrival. Even if it were to pass the Senate, President Obama said he would veto the bill.
Speaking at the Ford Motor plant in Claycomo, Mo., Obama defended the ACA, saying it would provide health coverage to millions of Americans who cannot afford it now.
He said House Republicans were jeopardizing the nation's economy by threatening to stop funding government and refusing to raise the debt ceiling if they can't de-fund the health reform law.
"They're focused on politics," Obama said. "They're focused on trying to mess with me, they're not focused on you," he said.
Margie Wakefield, a Democrat from Lawrence, who has announced that she will challenge Jenkins in 2014, said Jenkins' vote today "was a vote to shut down the government, pure and simple. It is past time for Congresswoman Jenkins to stop the political gamesmanship, stop standing in the way of solutions, and get to work passing a budget that will help businesses create jobs and protect Kansas families."
U.S. Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita and Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park also voted for the bill.