With little fanfare and as expected, today President Obama vetoed H.R.3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015” sent to him by Congress earlier this week. The legislation would have repealed key provisions of Obamacare and restricted the availability of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Among other things, the bill would have ended federal funding for Planned Parenthood for the next fiscal year, ended the IRS-collected penalty on taxpayers who do not carry government mandated health insurance, eased restrictions on health savings accounts and modified or removed many federal health insurance mandates on small businesses and state agencies.
In a press statement from the White House concerning the veto, the president said: “Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle-class families, and create new jobs. Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.”
Response to the presidential veto was swift.
Rep. Diane Black, a nurse for more than 40 years and a member of the House Budget Committee, said in a press release: “President Obama’s gall is stunning. He spent this week discussing the need to ‘protect innocent people’ and ‘save more lives’ yet he callously vetoed a bill to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us from the heinous abuses of Planned Parenthood. What’s more, he denied Americans a chance at relief from his disastrous health-care law that – nearly six years later – still remains underwater in public opinion polls.”
Watch Congressman Black’s remarks on H.R.3762
Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, objected to the president’s refusal to end funding for Planned Parenthood: “Regardless of where you stand on abortion, most people are not in favor of forcing Americans to violate their consciences. Our president is forcing taxpayers to fund the nation’s largest abortion provider. This is wrong and will not stand.”
Senior Counsel Casey Mattox for the Alliance Defending Freedom stated: “The president has chosen to continue funding for the abortion giant that helped get him elected rather than expand health care choices for women. All he has done is kill an historic bill that would have redirected existing funding from the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood to thousands of better, low-cost community health care providers that serve women and families far more comprehensively. It is past time to end the government’s immoral partnership with Planned Parenthood that has been forced upon the American people.”
In reference to the veto, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said: “Mr. President, by vetoing this bill, you alone bear the moral responsibility for sending taxpayer dollars to a group that has engaged in the selling of baby body parts. … The American people, through Congress, have spoken loud and clear about this moral injustice. But, unfortunately, yet again, this message has fallen on President Obama’s deaf ears. We urge Congress to override the veto.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has pledged that Congress would vote to override Obama’s veto. However an override is unlikely because the Republicans lack the necessary two-thirds majority.
During his time in office, the president has vetoed a total of eight bills. None have ever been overridden by the Republican-dominated Congress.