Minnesota reps vote along party line on GOP budget bill

WASHINGTON- The U.S. House passed a Republican bill Friday that would keep the government operating after Oct. 1 but strip away funds from the federal health care law.

Minnesota’s members of Congress voted along party lines on the measure, with all three Republicans in favor and all five Democrats against.

The funding bill now heads to the Senate, where the healthcare language will almost certainly be removed. Still, 2nd District Republican U.S. Rep John Kline says now senators will have to go on the record on the Affordable Care Act.

“I think that it is important for the Senate to engage,” he said

Democrats, including 4th District Rep. Betty McCollum, believe the whole fight has been unnecessary.

“All of these manufactured crises are not good for the economy,” she said. It’s not good for the institution of Congress, but more importantly it’s not good for the American people. They have really had it.”

The measure also locks in government spending at levels set by this year’s automatic across-the-board spending cuts.

Because of that, 5th District Democrat Keith Ellison said he won’t support any government funding bill even if it does fund the Affordable Health Care Act.

“We shouldn’t cooperate for this drive towards austerity that is disemploying our people, weakening the economy,” he said.

For 6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, the vote was all about the health care law, which she refers to as Obamacare.

“Obamacare is completely unworkable and deeply unpopular, and I will continue fighting until this train wreck is defunded once and for all so we can start over with free market, patient-centered health care reforms,” Bachmann said.

Congress was supposed to be on recess next week but now plans to be in session to work on the budget dispute.