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.