House Republicans Target Health Care Law as New Congress Meets

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BY VOA NEWS – The new U.S. Congress convenes Wednesday with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives and saying they will try to repeal President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care reform law.

Republican John Boehner, who is succeeding outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has said the measure is costly and killing jobs.


His party is acting quickly on the health care pledge, setting a vote next week for repealing the measure. The move is not likely to succeed, as it would have to be approved by the majority-Democrat Senate as well as Mr. Obama.

House Democrats, who lost their majority in the November elections, have criticized the Republican plan.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a representative from Florida, said Tuesday a repeal plan would hurt millions of Americans and could also jeopardize the country’s fragile economic recovery. She called it an example of “Republican hypocrisy.”

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said creating jobs will be one of the Democrats’ main priorities in the new Congress, along with reducing the deficit and strengthening the middle class.

In addition to trying to repeal health care reform, Republicans have vowed to reduce federal spending and shrink the size of government.

Democrats have also expressed their opposition to a Republican rules package.

Outgoing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that the package will make the deficit worse and return the nation to policies enacted under Republican presidents that he said were fiscally irresponsible.

The package would exempt a series of budget items from congressional “pay as you go” rules adopted by Democrats. Under the “pay as you go” system, Congress can only spend money if it saves that money elsewhere.

Democrats will have a small majority in the Senate in the new Congress.