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    Congress approves first step toward repeal of Obamacare

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    WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress has approved the first step toward dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law.

    Republicans have pushed a budget through Congress that provides an early but crucial victory in the effort.

    The budget prevents Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a bill annulling and replacing the law. That’s critical because it takes 60 votes to end filibusters, while Republicans have a 52-48 Senate majority.

    The real work lies ahead. Republicans must decide which parts of Obama’s statute to erase, what a new version should look like and how to protect 20 million people getting health coverage under the 2010 law.

    The House approved the budget Friday by a near party-line 227-198 vote.

    The Senate approved the measure Thursday. It does not need the president’s signature.

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