WASHINGTON - Saturday night, Illinois' congressional delegation divided along party lines on a measure to delay Obamacare for one year, repeal the medical-device tax and fund the government. In a 231 to 192 vote, all Illinois Republicans supported the effort and all Illinois Democrats opposed it.
But again, the Democrat-led U.S. Senate is expected to reject the House's resolution, leaving the budget at an impasse, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown Tuesday.
GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (IL-06) said House members are listening to what their constituents are telling them.
"Today, the House passed legislation to achieve two key priorities for the American people—fully funding the government and delaying for one year this disastrous healthcare law," Roskam said in a statement. "The President himself has implemented a one year delay in the law’s requirement for big businesses to provide insurance and a one year delay in the law’s privacy and anti-fraud provisions. It is only fair we extend this same relief to ordinary Americans.”
Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14) said he opposed the medical device tax because it is a "job-killer" for his district and would penalize Americans needing medical devices such as pacemakers, insulin syringes and artificial limbs.
“Because of its massive cost, the unaffordable care act law is riddled with hidden taxes on the middle class," Hultgren said in a statement. "The 2.3 percent medical device tax was put in place to raise $30 billion for Obamacare on the backs of medical manufacturers and Americans that rely on specialized devices to improve their quality of life."
“The tax is so egregious that in March of this year, 79 Senators voted to repeal it, although the vote had no effect in law. Today the House voted again to repeal it. It is up to the Senate to do the right thing and get rid of it for good. Will the Senate take the final step?"
House Speaker John Boehner echoed Hultgren's concern about what Senate President Harry Reid would do.
“Now that the House has again acted, it’s up to the Senate to pass this bill without delay to stop a government shutdown.” Boehner said in a statement.
The House also passed a measure that would continue military pay if the government shut down on October 1.