House Democrat wants repeal of ObamaCare’s employer mandate

John Barrow

Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) says that the administration’s delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate is not enough and that Congress needs to fully repeal of the onerous provision.

In speech yesterday from the House floor, Barrow urged leadership bring H.R. 903 — the American Job Protection Act, legislation sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) — up for a vote before the chamber.

“Just over a week ago, the Administration announced a one-year delay of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.  While a temporary delay is a good thing for businesses, a full repeal would be even better,” said Barrow. “Businesses in my district in Georgia have made very clear that the employer mandate would prevent them from expanding their businesses or hiring workers.  One of the main reasons I voted against this law in the first place was because too many job creators in my district simply can’t afford the costs of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act.”

“We can fix this, however. I’m proud to be leading the effort to fully repeal the employer mandate, along with two of my colleagues from across the aisle. We know that this can be fixed, and we’ve got the bipartisan legislation to do it,” he added. “I urge my colleagues to swiftly bring up the full repeal of the employer mandate and make this delay permanent, so businesses across the country can get back to creating the jobs we need.”

The mandate would cost employers $150 billion over the next 11 years, according to information provided on Barrow’s House website, and lead to a loss of more than 3 million jobs.

Shortly after his comments from the floor, the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) sent out an statement in which they hammered Barrow for voting against full repeal of ObamaCare on three separate occasions (Roll Call #14, H.R. 2, 1/19/11; Roll Call #460, H.R. 6079, 7/11/12; and Roll Call #154, H.R. 45, 5/16/13).

Richard Carbo, a spokesman for Barrow, told United Liberty that the Georgia Congressman agrees with Republicans on the need to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare, but noted that no bill to achieve that end had not been brought to the floor for a vote.

Carbo pointed to legislation introduced by Barrow at the beginning of the current Congress that would repeal the employer mandate, the individual mandate, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, also referred to as “death panels”). He also accused the NRCC of “adjusting [Barrow’s] comments to suite their needs.”

NRCC Regional Press Secretary Katie Prill said that repeal and replacement of ObamaCare has always been the goal of House Republicans and disputed Barrow’s assertion that he is on board with their efforts.

“At the end of the day, John Barrow has voted against the will of Georgia families when he voted to keep ObamaCare the law of the land. While Barrow is now trying to be politically opportunistic with this issue, he voted to keep ObamaCare and that’s not what Georgia voters want,” wrote Prill via e-mail. “It is utterly ridiculous for Congressman Barrow to say that the NRCC is twisting his position when he is the one that cast his vote numerous times to keep ObamaCare.”

Barrow, who is part of the declining Blue Dog coalition, is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House. In 2012, Mitt Romney took 55% of the vote in GA-12, the district that Barrow represents, and the NRCC has made him a primary target in next year’s mid-term election.

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