Most House Democrats are expected to oppose two House Republican bills on Wednesday that would delay key provisions of Obamacare, the number two House Democrat told reporters Tuesday.
"I think most Democrats will stick together," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said when asked about the upcoming votes. He called the Republican bill to delay the employer mandate to provide health care insurance "redundant" because it "doesn't do anything beyond what the president has already done."
Earlier this month the Obama administration announced it would postpone for one year the requirement in the health care law that mandates business with more than 50 employees offer health insurance.
Congressional Republicans pounced on the development as evidence that the law they unanimously opposed in 2010 was deeply flawed and needed to be rolled back. GOP leaders announced the House would vote on that action, plus another bill to postpone the mandate that all individuals carry health insurance or pay a penalty.
House Speaker John Boehner railed against the administration's decision at his weekly press conference when he announced the twin Obamacare votes last week.
"Is it fair for the president to give American businesses an exemption for the health law's mandates without giving the same break to individuals and families across the country? Hell no, it isn't," he said.
Hoyer defended the administration's decision to delay one component and argued the provision affected "a relatively small universe of businesses." But the Democratic vote counter said the mandate on individuals should be preserved, saying any delay "undermines protections to literally millions of people."