Republicans Poised to Undo 'Obamacare'

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With a new year and a new session for lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Republicans say they are ready to take on the White House, tackle the deficit and challenge big government.

One of their first priorities will be undoing President Barack Obama's biggest legislative victory -- the health care law.

This week, Congress gets a facelift boasting more Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. When it comes medical procedures, Republicans are not so concerned about cosmetic surgery, but are itching to take a scalpel to remove last year's health care law.

"You're going to see the fight on Obamacare across the board in the House and the Senate to try to de-fund the Obamacare bill and to start over," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

With the GOP in control of the House, Republicans who hold powerful chairmanships have vowed to act soon.

"As part of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal healthcare early," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. "That will happen before the president's State of the Union address."

Even if such a repeal is passed in the House, the Senate is still controlled by Democrats. In addition, President Obama would veto any legislation that attempts to repeal the law.

However, Republicans have another plan of attack if they don't get enough support for repeal. They will go after the law piece by piece. With majority control, House Republicans have the power to issue subpoenas and summon government officials to testify on Capitol Hill.

"The sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we'll be," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Tea Party-backed candidates, who promised to cut spending if elected, are delivering on their campaign pledges. They said they will vote against letting the government borrow any more money even if it means the possibility of a government shut down.

"I'm not going to write a blank check as far as raising the debt limit without us also saying we're going to do these things to make ourselves fiscally responsible," said Rep. elect Allen West, R-Fla.

"Raising the debt ceiling to me is absolutely irresponsible," said Rep. elect Mike Kelly, R-Penn. "We've been spending money for so long that we don't have and keep saying, 'Well, it's ok, we'll just raise taxes. We'll find it somewhere.'"

Yet, the White House said that would be disastrous.

"The impact on the economy would be catastrophic," said Austan Goolsbee, a White House economic advisor. "That would be a worse financial crisis than anything we saw in 2008."

"If we get to the point where you've damaged the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity," he added.

As a show of fiscal discipline, House Republicans drafted new rules that would require lawmakers to show how they would pay for any legislation that increases the deficit. There is one exception -- any legislation that repeals the health care law.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at