Politics
(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)  

Senate GOP pushes for ‘permanent delay’ of Obamacare

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are asking the White House to “permanently delay” the implementation of the new health-care law for everyone, after the administration announced last week that it would delay implementation of the business mandate until 2015.

In an effort led by South Dakota Sen. John Thune, 45 Republicans signed onto a letter to the White House requesting the permanent delay.

“The Obama administration was forced to admit this last week that Obamacare is not working as was advertised,” Thune said at a press conference Thursday afternoon, criticizing the administration for “endorsing delaying a key component to protect businesses from the very law that they still vigorously defend.”

“We believe it’s past time the president acknowledges the burden placed on every day Americans,” Thune added, calling for the delay of all parts of the law.

On Thursday, National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Jerry Moran, who is also the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee that deals with health, will offer amendments to cut off funding for enforcement of the business mandate and the individual mandate during a budget mark-up hearing.

Senate Republicans joined their House colleagues in using the delay of the business mandate to push for a delay of other parts of the law. Speaker of the House John Boehner on Tuesday called the delay “outrageous,” accusing the White House of favoring businesses over individuals, and the House is expected to vote later this month to delay the individual mandate as well.

Implementation of the business mandate has been postponed until 2015, after the 2014 midterm elections, which Republicans called a political move.

“If this road to the new health-care plan … is such a good road to go down, why wouldn’t he want voters to know about it? … Why not let people know about it before the election, not after?” asked Sen. Roy Blunt at Wednesday’s press conference.

“They obviously don’t think people are going to like this when they see it,” he said.

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