President Obama has vetoed a bill by Congress that aimed at repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.
In a defiant veto message on Friday, the President said, “because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.”
The president blasted the Republicans in Congress, who he said “have attempted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act over 50 times.”
“Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, Members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle-class families, and create new jobs,” Obama stated.
According to the White House, the president’s landmark healthcare legislation has given insurance to 17.6 million Americans who did not have it previously.
The GOP bill targeting Obamacare passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday by a margin of 240 to 181, with only one Democrat voting in favor of it.
The legislation would also have blocked federal money for Planned Parenthood, something conservatives in Congress pledged to do following the release of a series of videos by an anti-abortion group in 2015 which caused a controversy about the sale of fetal tissue.
In response to Obama’s veto, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he would hold an override vote.
“It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare,” Ryan said in a statement. He added that “the idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight, or it will be repealed.”
Opponents of Obamacare had argued that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to subsidize insurance in states that rejected their own exchange for the federal system.