Networks Punt on ObamaCare Repeal, Planned Parenthood Vote Passing Congress

On Wednesday night, the major network evening newscasts all failed to cover the first full, successful congressional vote to repeal of ObamaCare and defund of Planned Parenthood that will go to President Obama’s desk where he’ll likely veto the measures seeking to undo his health care law and strike federal funding from the nation’s largest provider of abortions. 

Despite the final vote in the House coming late in the afternoon, ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News chose not to even muster a news brief informing their viewers of this action by the Republican-led Congress (with the Senate vote coming via reconciliation). 

Providing a more balanced contrast, FNC’s Special Report had a full segment with host Bret Baier and chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel live on Capitol Hill providing the details. 

Baier returned from commercial break by noting that “Republicans are making history and making their point with their latest attempt to overturn the President's health care law, but they still are not actually successfully repealing ObamaCare.”

Emanuel mentioned that the House vote was 240-181 and while “House lawmakers have voted dozens of times to repeal ObamaCare,” all the previous attempts ended because “Senate Democrats have successfully filibustered the measures.”

The FNC correspondent then explained how the legislation passed the Senate and that it also included language to defund Planned Parenthood: “But this time, the Senate used a procedure known as reconciliation to pass this bill. House leaders noted it would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood and force the President to defend his signature law.”

Tell the Truth 2016

After soundbites from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Speaker Paul Ryan, Emanuel ruled that Republicans “recognize the President will veto the bill and they're not expected to have the votes to override it” as Speaker Ryan has instead “urg[ed] his colleagues to come up with an ObamaCare alternative to provide a contrast.”

Instead of highlighting this story, ABC and NBC both devoted full stories to hyping the $500 million PowerBall jackpot set to be drawn late Wednesday night.

The transcript of the segment from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on January 6 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
January 6, 2016
6:15 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Proving a Point]

BRET BAIER: Republicans are making history and making their point with their latest attempt to overturn the President's health care law, but they still are not actually successfully repealing ObamaCare. Chief congressional correspondent Mike Emmanuel is on Capitol Hill tonight to tell us what's happening. Good evening, Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL: Well, Bret, good evening. The vote in the House a short time ago was 240-181. House lawmakers have voted dozens of times to repeal ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats have successfully filibustered the measures, but this time, the Senate used a procedure known as reconciliation to pass this bill. House leaders noted it would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood and force the President to defend his signature law. 

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHERY (R-Calif.): Today is the day it will come to his desk. He'll have to make a decision, not just on ObamaCare, but the funding of Planned Parenthood after millions us watched author horrific videos. 

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-Wisc.): The people deserve a truly patient-centered health care system and ultimately — ultimately, this is going to require a Republican president. 

EMANUEL: That's because lawmakers recognize the President will veto the bill and they're not expected to have the votes to override it. Speaker Ryan is urging his colleagues to come up with an ObamaCare alternative to provide a contrast. Hillary Clinton has noted the importance of this election, in terms of health care. Repeal efforts could be a different story next year. 

HILLARY CLINTON: I think we should build on the Affordable Care Act. Not rip it up and start all over again. Republicans have voted to repeal it now, I think, 60 times. They may actually get a bill to the President’s desk. Now, he will veto it, but if we have a Republican sitting there in 2017, that President will sign it. 

EMANUEL: Clinton's message is if you like your ObamaCare and want to keep it, vote for her. Brett? 

BAIER: Mike Emmanuel, live on the Hill tonight. Mike, thanks. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center