Senate GOP Meet to Talk Repealing Obamacare

Ted Cruz Defund Obamacare AP PhotoThe Dallas Morning News, Michael Ainsworth

Senate Republicans will meet Monday night to discuss how to repeal Obamacare, reports The Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is organizing the meeting to find out whether they can repeal Obamacare through reconciliation, which would allow them to pass it with a simple-majority vote. If the meeting goes well, and McConnell thinks he can get 60 votes, they will vote on the legislation as early as Wednesday.

The legislation also includes a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood, which may prevent moderate Republicans from jumping on board.

According to The Hill, “That vote would be followed by 20 hours of debate and then a succession of votes on amendments and final passage — a so-called vote-a-rama — on Thursday.”

Senate GOP leaders are expected to discuss an amendment to the bill that will allow it to survive procedural problems raised by the parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough.

MacDonough ruled last month that language in the House-passed ObamaCare repeal measure, which McConnell is bringing straight to the floor, fails to pass a litmus test known as the Byrd Rule. This rule determines what can pass with a simple majority under reconciliation.

Specifically, she has raised red flags over provisions repealing the individual and employer mandates requiring people to buy and companies to offer health insurance.

Senate GOP leaders are also expected to discuss new language that would broaden the scope of the repeal passed in October by the House.

Presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have both come out against the House bill. They have joined Senator Mike Lee (R-AZ) in opposing the bill for not going far enough.

In October they released a statement saying: “Each of us campaigned on a promise to fully repeal Obamacare and a reconciliation bill is the best way to send such legislation to President Obama’s desk. If this bill cannot be amended so that it fully repeals Obamacare pursuant to Senate rules, we cannot support this bill.”

The House bill leaves in place the expansion of Medicaid and costly taxes and subsidies.


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