The US Congress has two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is controlled by Democrats while the House is under the control of the Republicans. Bills need to get through both houses to become law, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) did in in 2010.
Republicans regained the House in 2012, and they decided to express their hatred of Obamacare by holding a vote to repeal the Act, despite the fact it was never going to pass the Senate. It was a purely symbolic vote to appeal to their base. Needless to say, they won the vote.
Grandstanding complete and pleased with their success, the Republicans soon decided that what they needed was to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare! So they held the vote again and once again the House voted in favour of repeal. Brimming with confidence after this success, and an anti-abortion vote or two, the Republicans thought long and hard about their next priority. After much deliberation, they decided that what they really needed was a vote to appeal Obamacare! Giddy with joy at their win in that vote to repeal Obamacare, they turned their attention to repealing Obamacare. And on it went.
Today (our time), for the 37th time, the House of Representatives voted by a 229-195 margin to repeal Obamacare! It is estimated that the 37 symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare have cost the US more than $50 million.
The House Speaker, John Boehner:
We’ve got 70 new members who have not had the opportunity to vote on the president’s health care law. Frankly, they’ve been asking for an opportunity to vote on it, and we’re going to give it to them.And you thought our parliamentarians are bad?