Senate Republicans Tuesday took the first step toward repealing Obamacare, with Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi introducing a measure that would lay the groundwork for specific legislation to be proposed later that would repeal President Barack Obama's signature domestic program.
Enzi's bill seeks to pave the way for the later bill to pass Congress without fear of a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
The measure, called a budget resolution, directs top congressional committees to cast votes to assemble the repeal legislation by Jan. 27.
House Republicans also introduced Enzi's resolution in the lower chamber.
"This is the first step toward relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. "This resolution sets the stage for repeal followed by a stable transition to a better healthcare system.
"Our goal is to ensure that patients will be in control of their healthcare and have greater access to quality, affordable coverage," Ryan added. "Today, we begin to deliver on our promise to the American people."
The Senate is expected to begin debate on Enzi's bill this week, with the House likely taking action next week.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence will meet with House Republicans on Wednesday to discuss repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to news reports.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare after taking office later this month — and the House has voted more than 60 times to end all or part of the healthcare program.
Neither Trump nor Republicans has outlined what would replace Obamacare.
Democrats slammed the Republican effort to end the healthcare plan on Tuesday.
"I think it's not repeal and replace they are looking for," Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said on the Senate floor Tuesday, The Washington Examiner reports. "It is repeal and retreat."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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