April 2 (UPI) — Congressional Democrats spoke at the steps of the Supreme Court Tuesday before a largely symbolic vote on a resolution asking the Justice Department to reverse its stance that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
In December, Texas federal judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the individual mandate of the act is unconstitutional and that it could not be severed from the law itself, making the 2010 healthcare legislation against the constitution as well.
Last week, the Justice Department told the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that it sided with O’Connor’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
“We need our Republican colleagues to come to the table and defend their constituents instead of the president,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who is the Senate sponsor of the resolution, said Tuesday. “Ensuring the health and safety of the American people should transcend politics.”
President Donald Trump said Monday on Twitter that Republicans are working on a healthcare replacement plan, but will not vote on it until after the 2020 elections.
“President Trump confirmed he will hold Americans hostage through the 2020 election when it comes to healthcare,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday. “Republicans are not the party of healthcare. They are the party that wants to end your healthcare.”
Although the resolution is likely to pass in the House, it may never come up for a vote in the Senate, where Republicans control the floor.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved, that it is the sense of the Senate that the Department of Justice should protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, seniors struggling with high prescription drug costs and the millions of people in the United States who newly gained health insurance coverage … and reverse it’s position [on O’Connor’s ruling]” the Senate resolution reads in part.