WASHINGTON — The House joined the Senate on Friday in laying the groundwork for speedy action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, approving the budget blueprint passed by the Senate on Thursday that would allow Republicans to tear up the health care law without the prospect of a Senate filibuster.
The House vote, coming a week before President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, places Republicans squarely in position to fulfill their long-held desire to dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
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The quick action by Congress this week adds urgency to the vexing question of what comes next. While pursuing repeal with zeal, Republicans are far from reaching any consensus on how to go about replacing the health care law, under which more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance.
“This is a critical first step toward delivering relief to Americans who are struggling under this law,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin said.
The House gave approval to the budget blueprint after the Senate passed the same measure early Thursday by a 51-to-48 vote. The blueprint directs four House and Senate committees to draw up legislation. Republican leaders plan to then use that language to repeal major parts of the health care law.
“We’re going to do this right,” said Representative Doug Collins, Republican of Georgia. “We’re not going to pull the rug out from under anyone.”
But Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, contended that “every American will be adversely affected” by the repeal of the health care law.
“Show us the beef,” he added. “Show us the alternative.”