Cantor: House to Vote on ObamaCare Repeal, Keystone XL Approval

The House of Representatives will vote on repeal of ObamaCare “in the near future,” according to a memo from Major Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). The memo, which was obtained by The Hill, outlines several policy measures — including ObamaCare repeal,  approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and debt prioritization — that will be taken up by House Republicans over the next few weeks.

“In line with our underlying principles for legislation and our goal of helping make life work for American families and businesses, I expect the House to have a full legislative agenda in May,” wrote Cantor to the House Republican Conference (PDF). “We will push the administration to finally approve the Keystone pipeline delivering much needed jobs and lower energy prices for families. We will ensure that working moms and dads in the private sector have the same freedoms and flexibility currently offered government employees.”

“We will reform our student loan process and hold the SEC accountable so that business can be assured of more certainty and less red tape. We will put pediatric disease research ahead of politics to focus on finding cures,” he added. “And we will guarantee our debt obligations are met under any circumstance so as not to burden our kids with unpaid bills. While we have not locked in the timing, I expect that the House will vote on full repeal of ObamaCare in the near future.”

No other specifics were offered on ObamaCare repeal, but Cantor did outline the case for the other legislative matters that House Republicans will pursue before Congress adjourns for a district work period at the end of the month.

On the Keystone XL Pipleline, Cantor explained the the Obama Administration is still standing in the way of construction, which is why legislative action is needed. During budget votes in March, the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, easily passed a non-binding measure to approve the pipeline.

“Creating jobs and lowering energy prices is a top priority for House Republicans. H.R. 3, The Northern Route Approval Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Lee Terry, will ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is built without any further delay,” explained Cantor. “The federal government should not stand in the way of job creation or lower gas prices and I expect a strong vote of support in the House.”

The State Department released a draft statement noting that the pipeline would not have a significant impact on the environment. Public support for the pipeline also remains high. A Fox News poll in early March showed that 70% of Americans support Keystone. Pew Reseach released a poll just last month showing that 66% support the pipeline.

Another issue that Cantor will bring to the floor this month is H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA). “Current law does not require the Treasury Secretary to prioritize debt service payments on the government’s existing debt in the event that we reach the debt ceiling,” noted Cantor. “Under this legislation if the statutory debt ceiling is reached, the Secretary of the Treasury is required to issue debt to the extent necessary and solely for the purpose of paying principal and interest on the debt obligations held by the public and the Social Security Trust Funds.”

McClintock, who spoke with United Liberty back in February, has explained that his resolution would protect the United States’ credit rating in the event of another debt ceiling fight or threat of default.

You can read the rest of Cantor’s memo here.

ObamaCare repeal will be the most interesting vote since it will be used against vulnerable Democrats in next year’s mid-term election. But with exception of perhaps Keystone, most of the agenda that will be pursued by House Republicans this month stand little to no chance of passage in the Senate.

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