Almost bookending their first terms in office, both Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Rep. Scott DesJarlais joined their fellow Republican House members in casting additional votes to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law—two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that key provisions of the landmark bill were constitutional.
The measure, which is destined for rejection in the Senate and faces a veto threat from the president, marked more than 30 times GOP members had voted to repeal, amend or defund Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since it was passed in 2010. Both Fleischmann and DesJarlais began their freshmen terms with votes to repeal the law, and Wednesday's vote once more gave representatives an opportunity to take aim against the president's signature legislation heading into the heat of the primary season in an election year.
"Since the day I was elected, I have been fighting to repeal Obamacare, and I will continue to vote until Obamacare is no more," Fleischmann said in a news release. "This continues a promise I made to Tennesseans when I first ran for Congress. Today's vote demonstrates the Republican commitment to repeal, and that, if we have the necessary majorities, Obamacare will be repealed."
In a similar statement, DesJarlais said he was proud to have cast his vote against the health care law time and time again.
“Since arriving to Congress, I’ve been proud to vote 32 times to repeal or defund this failed law and replace it with real, common sense solutions that will drive down costs and expand access to care," DesJarlais said, without clarifying what potential solutions might be. "The Supreme Court's ruling confirmed what the American people already knew: Obamacare's individual mandate is a tremendous tax increase on all Americans and clearly violates Democrat's promise to not raise taxes on the middle class."
Both congressmen are facing challengers in their first bids for re-election. Although Fleischmann made no mention of his campaign or opponents, DesJarlais used his vote as an occasion to take a shot at his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Eric Stewart, who was recently quoted saying he would not vote to repeal the law.
Primary elections are Aug. 2.