The bill would prohibit funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
The Gordon County Republican, who represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District, also co-sponsored the Fair Tax Act.
“Under my proposal, not a single provision within the health care law would get a penny of funding, which would effectively end the costly and unconstitutional mandate on America,” Graves said Wednesday afternoon. “Additionally, the Fair Tax embodies the kind of reform that Americans are starving for, as it fundamentally reverses our debilitating tax system by abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and replacing all federal tax schemes with one retail sales tax program.”
Graves’ moves reflected the GOP spirit on Wednesday as Republicans took control of the House and rushed into a political fight with President Barack Obama about health care.
“It’s new energy,” incoming House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Tuesday. The oath-taking Wednesday ends two years of Democratic dominance in the capital and ushers in a divided government in the run-up to the 2012 congressional and presidential elections. With campaigns but a short time away, Obama and congressional Republicans are set to square off over the size of government and the taxpayer dollars it spends.
Fresh from a Hawaii vacation, Obama told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday that he expects Republicans initially to “play to their base.
“But I’m pretty confident that they’re going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people,” he added. “My hope is that John Boehner and (Senate GOP leader) Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012.”
For now, both parties will build their election-year cases in the congressional arena. It began Wednesday as California Democrat Nancy Pelosi handed the speaker’s gavel to Boehner. Republicans have promised to run the House with an eye toward saving and cutting spending in a manner more open to public scrutiny and debate.
The first spending cut vote is set for Thursday, a 5 percent reduction in the amount ticketed for lawmakers’ and committees’ offices and leadership staff. Aides estimate the savings at $35 million over the next nine months.
Republicans have pledged to vote at least once a week on bills that cut spending.
But Republicans acknowledge they must do more than oppose Obama’s every proposal, as they did the past two years of Democratic rule. That might mean compromise, anathema to GOP hardliners, setting up the potential for conflicts in the party.
One of the first votes this week will be the enactment of a series of rule changes that Republicans crafted to increase openness in Congress’ proceedings. Despite that, the new majority intends to pass the health care repeal next week without committee hearings or permitting Democrats a chance to seek changes.
Republicans also have decided to ignore estimates from the Congressional Budget Office that the bill as it originally passed would cut spending by $143 billion over the next decade.
“These two bills, de-funding the president’s health care law and enacting the Fair Tax, respond to America’s November mandate to reject government expansion and enact policies that protect our liberties and empower American families and business,” Graves said. “As this Congress moves forward, I will remain committed to these policies of reform and continually work to restore the people’s faith in their House.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story