Is there an echo in here?
It remains to be seen if the Senate will move forward with a highway funding bill now that lawmakers have actually had a chance to read it, but if the Senate does proceed Ted Cruz intends to offer an amendment that would dramatically increase the price of healthcare for congressional staffers.
Louisiana Senator David Vitter is expected to introduce legislation that fellow Senator Ted Cruz will offer as an amendment to the highway bill if the bill ever makes it to the floor.
Cruz and Vitter have vigorously opposed the government contribution to congressional health care under the Affordable Care Act, calling it a “Washington exemption.” Lawmakers and their staffs were able to maintain that contribution as the result of a 2013 Office of Personnel Management ruling that House and Senate employees could participate in the D.C. Small Business Health Option Program, rather than enroll on the individual exchanges.
Cruz and Vitter seek to end the employer contribution congressional employees receive from the federal government, effectively increasing the cost of healthcare for their own staff and the staff of every other member of Congress. Republicans have been peddling the lie that this some sort of "exemption" for years.
As you may recall, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin challenged the policy in court last year, but his lawsuit was thrown out for a lack of injury.
Cruz's amendment will join Rand Paul's amendment for defunding Planned Parenthood if the highway bill reaches the floor of the Senate where it will die. Again.
Neither Obamacare or Planned Parenthood have anything to do with highways, obviously.