(WASHINGTON) -- Despite the president’s veto threat, the House voted Wednesday to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a part of the Affordable Care Act.
The final vote tally came in at 236-183 and was divided mostly down party lines, with just four Democrats crossing the aisle to vote for repeal with the unanimous House GOP Conference.
The bill was the latest to come to the floor under the GOP’s "YouCut" program, where people can vote online on which spending cuts measure they’d like to see come to the House floor next. According to House Republicans, the bill repeals $17.75 billion in mandatory spending.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the program granted the secretary of Health and Human Services unchecked authority to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on any so-called "public health" program without any further congressional action.
"These funds could be used to continue wasteful and duplicative programs that fail to actually improve health care for Americans," Cantor, R-Va., stated following the vote. "By repealing this fund, we ensure that public health programs of highest priority will continue to be supported by Congress. I thank Chairman Pitts for his hard work and sponsorship of this repeal legislation, our latest effort to defund ObamaCare."
The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, also reacted to the repeal.
"Today the House demonstrated we understand the dire condition of Washington’s spending addiction and stripped a $17.75 billion slush fund tucked away in the 2,900 page health care law," Upton declared. "With the federal government borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends, Congress should not abdicate our authority and responsibility by handing a perpetual blank check to the secretary of HHS."
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