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Posted at 1:01 p.m. on July 24, 2013
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn is making a long shot bid to block the IRS from implementing the president’s signature health care law.
While there’s been palpable frustration with the IRS on both sides of the aisle, most, if not all, Democrats would likely oppose this particular amendment to block the agency from using any funds on the implementation of Obamacare.
“After the abuses and mismanagement that have come to light, it is clear we must prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “I cannot support giving the IRS any responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement this broken law.”
The amendment comes a day after a number of Republican senators, including Cornyn, met with representatives of a tea party group to discuss legislative ideas, including defunding the 2010 health care law.
The IRS has been tasked with levying penalties on those who fail to adhere to either the individual mandate to buy health insurance or the employer mandate to provide insurance to employees.
Cornyn’s effort to attach the amendment to the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill will most likely be symbolic.
It’s been a while since an appropriations measure that isn’t a catchall package or continuing resolution has reached the Senate floor, but the process itself is a bit different.
That’s because something unusual happens when the Senate considers spending bills: germaneness rules kick into effect. Unlike on most legislation, where senators may offer extraneous amendments on any subject, amendments to standalone spending bills must be germane to the underlying subject matter.
In this case, that’s housing and transportation programs.
When asked if she planned to follow the germaneness standards, THUD Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington said succinctly, “That’s the Senate rules.”