Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Mitch McConnell | Obamacare | Repeal | Vote | Republicans

McConnell: GOP to Keep Pledge on Obamacare Repeal Vote

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:44 AM

Republicans will keep the pledge they made to the American people to "make every effort to repeal" Obamacare, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Roll Call.

"No. 1: We will certainly have a vote on proceeding to a bill to repeal Obamacare. It was a very large issue in the campaign," said McConnell.

The potency of Obamacare as a campaign issue was illustrated by Greg Giroux of Bloomberg Politics, who noted that 19 Democrats who voted for Obamacare four years ago have retired or resigned from office.

Three others died in office.

While a vote to repeal Obamacare is on the agenda, McConnell was quick to say that a full repeal is likely.

"It is a statement to the obvious, however, that Obama — of Obamacare — is the president of the United States, so I don’t want people to have [unrealistic] expectations about what may actually become law with Obama — of Obamacare — in the White House. But we intend to keep our commitment to the American people," said McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican noted that considering the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has Obama's name on it, "the chances of his signing a full repeal are pretty limited."

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The Kentucky Republican, who is known as an expert of the Senate procedural process, is examining alternate routes to reach the GOP's goal of dismantling the ACA.

"The reconciliation process does present an opportunity and we are reviewing that to see what's possible," McConnell said in the Roll Call interview.

He also plans to target parts of the law that "we know enjoy bipartisan opposition," particularly the 40-hour work week, and repealing the medical device tax.

In preparation for the next Congress, Senate Republican staff members have been meeting quietly for weeks to study how best to navigate the reconciliation process, reports Politico.

Senate Budget Committee staffers are considering various scenarios and how the Senate parliamentarian might rule in those circumstances, while staff from the Senate Steering Committee have compiled three binders of legislative history chronicling budget wars as far back as 1986, according to Politico.

One of the reasons Republicans are dedicating so much energy to studying the minutiae of the legislative process is that they acknowledge there is little room for error.

"You don’t get a lot of cracks at it. So we want to preserve our options with reconciliation and just maintain flexibility going forward. It’s a very important tool," current House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan told Politico.

Using the reconciliation process would be the best way to chip away at the individual mandate, which Democrats continue to support, said Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute.

"This procedural move allows the Senate to approve bills related to taxation and spending with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes typically required to overcome a filibuster. The individual mandate is only alive today because the U.S. Supreme Court declared it a constitutional use of Congress’ taxation power. Republicans should use that logic to repeal the mandate," Pipes writes in a Des Moines Register editorial.

Pipes adds that Republicans should not limit their ambitions to repealing Obamacare.

"It must also have a plan in place to replace the law should a Republican take the White House in 2016," she advises.

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Republicans will keep the pledge they made to the American people to "make every effort to repeal" Obamacare, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Roll Call.
Mitch McConnell, Obamacare, Repeal, Vote, Republicans
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2014-44-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:44 AM
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