Tags: Healthcare Reform | budget reconciliation | Mitch McConnell

Report: GOP Eyes 'Budget Reconciliation' in Obamacare Battle

By    |   Monday, 22 December 2014 01:30 PM

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill are talking about using the "budget reconciliation" process in an effort to repeal Obamacare, The Hill reported.

Reconciliation could prove useful to the GOP because it allows them to pass legislation related to spending and taxation with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the usually required 60.

Although President Barack Obama is certain to veto any legislation aimed at rolling back the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans increasingly view reconciliation as an important "messaging tool" for contrasting their views on Obamacare with those of the Democrats ahead of 2016.

There already appears to be strong, bipartisan support in Congress for jettisoning smaller parts of Obamacare such as repealing the medical device tax or restoring the 40-hour work week.

The reconciliation procedure is rarely used. The last time it was employed was in 2010, when Democrats (short of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate) used it to push through changes in the ACA.

Republicans should "take the bill that the Democrats passed and you run reverse, you get rid of it. Wholesale," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Congressional Budget Office director and current head of the right-leaning American Action Forum.

"If it's intended as a message vote anyway, you might as well be aggressive," he added. "It's not about the legislating."

Earlier this month, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised the possibility of using the reconciliation process to ensure that the 114th Congress has the chance to vote on repealing Obamacare.

He added, however, that enacting a full repeal of the law was unlikely to happen with President Obama in office with a veto pen in hand.

"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 has Obama's name on it, "the chances of his signing a full repeal are pretty limited."  

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Some Republicans on Capitol Hill are talking about using the "budget reconciliation" process in an effort to repeal Obamacare, The Hill reported.
budget reconciliation, Mitch McConnell
Monday, 22 December 2014 01:30 PM
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