Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | obamacare | repeal | GOP | republicans

GOP Lawmakers Divided on Method to Repeal Obamacare

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 10:48 AM

GOP lawmakers are divided on a way forward to repeal Obamacare as a veto by President Barack Obama is a certainty. But some say using budget reconciliation may be one maneuver to strike a deal.

"I don’t fall into the camp that thinks it’s particularly helpful to send something up to be vetoed," said Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole, who serves on the House Budget Committee, told The Wall Street Journal. "You score a few political points, but against a president who’s never on the ballot again. Big deal."

His feelings were not shared by other Republicans, who say they pledged to go after the healthcare law that many of their constituents do not support.

"Our plan is to use it to repeal Obamacare and I hope we stick to the plan," Republican Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama told the Journal.

Congress begins discussions Monday on reconciling House and Senate versions of the budget. The Senate version didn't include provisions for such an Obamacare repeal, the Journal reported. A combined version is expected by the end of the month.

In recent years, reconciliation has been used to advance political agendas, the Journal said. In the case of Obamacare, Republicans have an upper hand and can pass certain types of legislation with a simple majority, the Journal reported, noting they control the House and 54 of 100 Senate seats.

The Journal said of the process: "The health law can be addressed under reconciliation because it changes spending, revenue or the federal debt limit. Each of those topics can be addressed just once under reconciliation for each budget cycle."

Republicans, according to the Washington Times, are likely not energized by a budget bill showdown. But those in the House may consider a spending cut bill as follow-up to approach changes in the Obamacare legislation.

Some House GOP lawmakers hope reconciliation can be used to hasten not only Obamacare's repeal but on other issues like tax overhaul and changes to entitlements, Politico said of priorities.

The Senate, however, is focused on using the tactic for Obamacare alone, Politico reported.

"I would like to have an option to do more than just [the Affordable Care Act]," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said last week, according to Politico. "You never know what the future holds.

"Knowing how the Senate works today, where they try to stop everything, I think it brings the American public greater freedom if we allow more options."

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GOP lawmakers are divided on a way forward to repeal Obamacare as a veto by President Barack Obama is a certainty. But some say using budget reconciliation may be one maneuver to strike a deal.
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2015-48-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 10:48 AM
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