In an irony to end all ironies, Senate Republicans have introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare that uses reconciliation – the same tactic employed by Democrats to push the law into effect without Republican support – to prevent Democrats from being able to filibuster the resolution.
The Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, but can use reconciliation to repeal aspects of the so-called Affordable Care Act using only 51 votes.
This resolution does not in itself repeal Obamacare, but gets the ball rolling downhill on the process.
Via the Free Beacon:
Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced a budget resolution on Tuesday that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
The resolution utilizes the reconciliation process to repeal elements of the health care law, since Republicans do not have a 60-seat majority that would allow them to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Reconciliation could be used to repeal parts of Obamacare with only 51 votes, similar to how Democrats used the reconciliation process to amend tax and spending provisions contained in Obamacare in 2010.
Republicans can use reconciliation to “fast-track” repeal and send legislation to President-elect Donald Trump’s desk as soon as possible.
This resolution, the first thing introduced by the new Congress after being sworn in on Tuesday, could only be stopped if there were multiple Republican defectors. In other words, Democrats can’t do a damn thing to put a halt to the repeal effort.
“Donald Trump has not yet taken office,” Vox reporter Dylan Matthews writes. “But make no mistake: Congress is already starting to enact his, and the Republican Party’s, agenda, and Democrats don’t have the votes to stop it.”
The National Review explains how Democrats used this very same procedure to force Obamacare into law:
Congressional Democrats used this very mechanism to force Obamacare through Congress on a party-line vote, to the president’s desk, and onto the backs of hard-working American families and businesses.
Without reconciliation, Obamacare would not have become law at all.
Now it may be dismantled by implementing the very same tactic Democrats used initially.
Well done, Republicans. Well done.
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Cross-posted at the Political Insider