Senate Republicans zero in on 'reconciliation' to try to dismantle Obamacare

Senate Republicans will likely move to gut Obamacare after they assume the majority next year by using a parliamentary maneuver that would allow them to skirt an expected Democratic filibuster, GOP sources said.

The Senate’s complicated “reconciliation” rule, designed to ease the passage of deficit-reduction legislation, won’t permit Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. But the tactic will allow them, with the support of a simple majority rather than the customary, filibuster-proof 60 votes, to eliminate key provisions of the law, like the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, so as to render it effectively inoperable.

“That will be one avenue for us,” incoming Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Wednesday, when asked where reconciliation fit into Republicans’ plans to dismantle Obamacare. “Of course, in order to do that, we have to pass a budget, which hasn’t happened since 2009.”

As Cornyn noted, repealing portions of Obamacare using reconciliation is only possible if 51 Senate Republicans (and 218 House Republicans) can agree on a budget resolution. Passing a budget is what makes a reconciliation vehicle possible. That means some of the GOP’s biggest budget hawks — those who often break with their colleagues and oppose spending bills as insufficiently austere — will have to support a consensus budget plan. Democrats are unlikely to help Republicans pass legislation that undermines Obamacare.

The exercise is sure to satisfy the GOP base and many congressional Republicans. All of them either voted against Obamacare when it passed in 2010 or ran in subsequent elections on a pledge to repeal it. However, this strategy carries particular costs.

President Obama is sure to veto an aggressive attack on his signature domestic achievement, and there are not the votes in Congress to override. Additionally, the reconciliation tool can only be used once, in concert with passing a fiscal 2015-16 budget proposal. Using the maneuver to dismantle Obamacare necessarily means it cannot be used to overcome presumed Democratic filibusters to pass other conservative priorities that have tax and spending implications, entitlement reform among them.

A senior Republican Senate aide likened reconciliation to a “rifle shot,” emphasizing that the procedure was not a panacea for passing every policy likely to generate Democratic opposition. That’s why some Republicans in the House and Senate who otherwise support repealing Obamacare are questioning the wisdom of using reconciliation to attack the Affordable Care Act.

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Whereas I support a balanced budget each and every year, repubicans need to wake up and understand that they were not reelected to reconcile or work with the democraps!

This is the price the democraps pay for their gerrymandering of the rules, shutting out the repubicans in earlier terms, and passing bills in secrecy and dead of night! they now get shut out of the process and the repubicans now dictate what will or wont be done! Our edict in the mid term election was to give them the power they needed to REPEAL obamacare (and a list of other reversals) - PERIOD!

Cornyn - stop with the crap or YOU will be next to be sent home - guaranteed.

You are so right. They were not elected to make deals. They were elected to represent WE the people. In this they are miserable failures and king size hypocrites. To hell with every congress person that has screwed their constituents for personal gain.

This is exactly why the TEA party was born.  The republicans and democrats are just two sides of the same coin.  We need a different coin of our own.  Look at who the repubs want to run for president in 2016.  We need Jeb Bush like we need to shoot ourselves in the foot!! 

You got that right HOMO OBAMA! The people that

are STUPID are the ones that voted for you! Now

that the SMART people voted in the Republicans,

your days of RUINING out great country are soon

coming to a end! THANK GOD!!!!!!!

Gay boy bama.

NO  I would go for a complete repeal and then not fund it.  If this is the only way I say they are not working hard enough.  If this was based on lies  can't it be challenged that way??  Null and void because of so many lies.??

I hope that these republicans understand that we have given them a chance to straighten this mess out or the next Revolutionary War is coming.

Well said.

Dictator Obama is too stupid to understand what we think of him.

Eyes of EVIL!!

I got stuck at Cornyn's promise of a bu-bu-bud-bbudget being passed.  A budget!  America will actually have a BUDGET again!!!  It's been almost six years without- I never thought we'd see another one.  Oh, thank you, Lord!

Using procedure to take out the mandate - yeah, with a budget attached reiterating all Obamacare is self-funded by participants' enrollment/payments into,  I'm starting to see some brilliance very quickly...    That would work - bye-bye Obamacare!  

But - a budget!  Exciting!

 

A senior Republican Senate aide likened reconciliation to a “rifle shot,” emphasizing that the procedure was not a panacea for passing every policy likely to generate Democratic opposition. That’s why some Republicans in the House and Senate who otherwise support repealing Obamacare are questioning the wisdom of using reconciliation to attack the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s going to be open and vibrant debate over how to use reconciliation,” a GOP lobbyist predicted. “Leadership is going to have to educate members over what can and can’t be done.”

Part of the Republicans' strategy involves determining how best to harness existing Democratic support to repeal certain pieces of the Affordable Care Act, such as the medical device tax. Republicans are hoping that Obama would be willing to sign such a bill, although he could ultimately veto it on the grounds that the funds the levy raises from U.S. medical device manufacturers are integral to the financial stability of the law.

Republicans also aim to pass legislation eliminating Obamacare’s independent Payment Advisory Board, derided as “death panels” by critics of the law, and to restore the 40-hour work week. Under the Affordable Care Act, 30 hours is considered full-time employment to discourage firms from hiring part-time workers to avoid the mandate to provide health benefits or pay a fine. The individual mandate to purchase health insurance, legally ruled a tax by the Supreme Court, is on the chopping block as well.

Ultimately, GOP sources expect congressional Republicans to target Obamacare through reconciliation because it makes the most political sense.

Republicans campaigned on doing everything within their power to repeal the law. They won a huge victory in the midterm elections, flipping at least eight Democratic-held Senate seats and around a dozen House districts, and most will probably push for the reconciliation route. Likely incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was among those vowing to work as aggressively as possible to undo the law.

McConnell and Cornyn both said on Wednesday that no final decisions have been made on how to pursue a weakening of the Affordable Care Act. The subject is likely to be a topic if discussion over the next several weeks among returning Republican senators and the newly elected who will be seated when the 114th Congress convenes in January.

But given that GOP priorities like tax and entitlement reform would likely run into the same presidential roadblock if the Republicans rammed partisan bills through Congress under reconciliation, a bill to break apart Obamacare and possibly force a public debate with the president on the merits of the law appears to be the likeliest candidate for the one-time maneuver.

“Obviously it’s going to be hard to repeal Obamacare when the man living in the White House is named Barack Obama,” said Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “But we’ll make decisions about that at a later time.”

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

SICK: Anderson Cooper Says Demographic Decline Of White Americans Is “Exciting”

“It’s an exciting evolution.”

Embedded video

[Click To Watch]

CNN’s Anderson Cooper said during an interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos that he found the demographic decline of white people “exciting”.

“The idea that, you know, whites will not be the majority, I mean, that’s — it’s an exciting transformation of the country, it’s an exciting evolution and you know, progress of our country in many different ways,” said Cooper.

Ramos agreed that whites becoming a minority in America was inevitable and a positive development.

The Judge@V8POW

Anderson Cooper barely able to contain his excitement about Whites becoming a minority.

Not thrilled about being replaced in the country your ancestors founded: you're a "Supremacist"

Understand White People, you're already in a race war.

“There’s nothing really they can do against this incredible demographic revolution. And in 2044, everyone is going to be a minority,” he said.

The media has repeatedly asserted that even raising the “conspiracy theory” of “the great replacement” or the demographic decline of white people puts you on a par with mass shooters and terrorists.

However, it’s apparently completely fine to talk about the issue so long as you proclaim the demographic decline of whites to be a positive thing.

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