U.S. Rep. David McKinley said his legislation to keep coal ash from being regulated as a hazardous material could be attached to an "all encompassing bill" next week that would force the Senate to address issues pertaining to Obamacare and extending the nation's debt limit.
The House on Friday passed legislation to keep government operations running until Dec. 15, while also defunding the new health care law set to go into effect in 2014.
But McKinley, R-W.Va., said next week, the House will send a second bill to the Senate extending imposition of Obamacare by one year, and also raising the nation's debt limit - issues important to Senate Democrat leaders.
The second bill, though, also will contain a number of amendments pertaining to authorizing construction of the Keystone Pipeline, tax reform and economic development. McKinley said his coal ash bill will be among the amendments.
The intent of two bills is to give the Senate an option on how to proceed with the new health care law, while forcing them to address issues important to House Republicans, he continued.
"This is now going to require a full vote of the Senate, and therein the American public will be more educated about all of this," McKinley said. "If we're going to raise the debt limit, something is going to be attached to it folks. Congress is not going to pass a debt limit (extension) without something. Congress has always used the debt limit to resolve some of the impasse that occurs here politically. So there will be an attachment."
A prospective one-year delay in Obamacare would give states a chance to determine how they can stop the new health care law from costing jobs, according to McKinley.
"When they passed it in 2009, the idea was it was going to decrease premiums," he said. "Now that's been demonstrated to be incorrect. It was supposed to help employers create jobs, and now they're finding it's the reverse. Companies are reducing hours for workers from 40 hours to 29 hours (per week) so they don't have to comply and face additional costs."
In addition, many Americans will seek to save money by not getting the health care insurance required of them under Obamacare, McKinley continued.
"They'll just pay the penalty," he said. "That's not the way it was supposed to work. That's the strength of the delay ... it gives us a chance to work out the bugs before we go another step."