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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

NRCC’s Sneak Preview of 2014

In a sneak preview of the 2014 campaign, a GOP ad in North Carolina says Rep. Mike McIntyre “voted to spend $1.8 trillion on Obamacare” and “keep Obamacare’s taxes.” Spoiler alert: The ad is misleading. In fact, McIntyre voted twice against the health care bill, and he voted twice for the law’s full repeal in two standalone bills. The ad’s specious claim rests on McIntyre’s recent vote on a non-binding House GOP budget resolution.

The National Republican Congressional Committee posted the 30-second TV spot on its YouTube site on April 3. It opens by saying the nine-term Democratic congressman has been in Washington too long. It then says, “And we’re paying the price. Instead of voting to balance the budget, he voted to spend $1.8 trillion on Obamacare.”

The NRCC is referring to McIntyre’s March 21 vote on a non-binding resolution that sets budget levels for fiscal years 2015 through 2023. It passed 221-207 without a single Democratic vote. The budget resolution, which was drafted by the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is a statement of the party’s budget principles. It calls for a balanced budget in 10 years and the repeal of the federal health care law. Specifically, the budget blueprint says the budget chairman “may revise” the spending levels to account for the “budgetary effects of any bill … that reforms or replaces the Patient Protection and Affordable Care or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”

The fact is nothing in the budget resolution itself would repeal the Affordable Care Act. That would have to happen in a separate repeal bill — which McIntyre has repeatedly supported.

Here are the major votes taken in the House to approve and later repeal the health care law:

  • Nov. 7, 2009: The House, under the control of Democrats at the time, voted 220-215 to pass a bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system. McIntyre voted against it.
  • March 21, 2010: The House, still under Democratic control, voted 219-212 on final passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. McIntyre voted against it. He also voted against the controversial reconciliation bill that House Democratic leaders drafted to circumvent the need to send the health care bill back to the Senate.
  • Jan. 19, 2011: Now under Republican control, the House voted 245-189 to repeal the health care law. McIntyre was one of only three Democrats to vote for the repeal.
  • July 11, 2012: The House again voted, this time 244-185, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Five Democrats, including McIntyre, voted for the repeal.

In addition to a full repeal of the law, McIntyre voted with Republicans to defund all or part of the health care law.

For example, he was one of five House Democrats on May 3, 2011 to vote for legislation that would have barred federal funding for the state health insurance exchanges that will be created in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. He also was one of three House Democrats to vote for an amendment (No. 575) to an appropriations bill that would have prohibited the use of federal funds for “any employee, officer, contractor, or grantee of any department or agency” previously funded by the health care law.

The ad also says “McIntyre voted to keep Obamacare’s taxes” — another reference to his vote on the non-binding resolution. That, too, is misleading. McIntyre voted not only to repeal the entire law and to defund it, but he also cosponsored a bill in 2011 to repeal the annual fees imposed on health care providers by the new law. And he voted in 2012 to repeal the medical device tax contained in the law.

We should point out, too, that although the ad criticizes the congressman for not “voting to balance the budget,” McIntyre in 2011 cosponsored and voted for a balanced budget amendment – which was a goal of the budget resolution.

— Eugene Kiely