Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Senate Moves to Repeal ObamaCare (VIDEO)

Senators were actually working on this yesterday, their first day back on the Hill.

At Roll Call, "Senate Republicans Start Obamacare Repeal Process":

Senate Republicans wasted no time Tuesday setting in motion their plan to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

GOP senators intend to strike large portions of the law while avoiding the threat of a Democratic filibuster through a procedural gambit that expedites Senate consideration of the repeal bill.

But Democrats aren’t going down without a fight.

On Tuesday, Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi started the process known as reconciliation. A fiscal 2017 budget resolution the Wyoming Republican unveiled on the first day of the 115th Congress includes instructions to two House and two Senate committees to craft legislation reducing the deficit by $1 billion over the next ten years.

To do so, those committees will draft bills repealing portions of the health care law. Senate debate is not subject to cloture, meaning 60 votes are not required to end debate. Republicans, with their 52-seat majority, will be able to advance the repeal without needing any Democratic defections.

One of the committees with jurisdiction is Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the panel’s chairman, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said Tuesday that any repeal bill will be crafted “carefully.” Lawmakers have until Jan. 27 to draft the measures.

But before then, Democrats plan to put Republicans on the record regarding certain provisions of the 2010 health care law.

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said Democrats plan to offer health-related provisions when the Senate votes on amendments to the budget resolution. A marathon vote series known as a vote-a-rama is expected next week...

Not sure why she mentions the cloture rule isn't in effect, mainly because the filibuster still applies to legislation (despite this whole debate over killing the filibuster). Normally floor debate is held when a bill is ready to be sent to conference, and thus it would be defeated in the Senate before that if there wasn't a 60-vote level of support. I've tweeted to Bridget Bowman for an answer.