House passes Obamacare repeal: on to the Senate

The House passed a measure that repeals Obamacare with a 245-189 vote. This represents a far larger margin of victory than proponents of health care reform got when they passed it in the first place.

Is this really a "symbolic" victory? We'll see. Even if the senate doesn't act on the bill, the statement has been made. This is important because even the Supreme Court is not immune to politics. A likely 5-4 vote on the constitutionality of the individual mandate is going to need all the political push it can get to convince wavering justices that the real will of the people is to rid us of this monstrosity.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell us assuring the GOP House members that he will get a vote in the senate on repeal:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would "assure" a Senate vote on legislation to undo Democrats' healthcare reform law, despite Senate Democrats' opposition to holding such a vote.
"I want to congratulate our colleagues in the House on this important first step. I hope the Senate will soon follow suit with a vote of its own," McConnell said in a video release following the successful 245-189 vote in the House to repeal the healthcare law.

"The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't want to vote on this bill," McConnell added. "But I assure you, we will."

Those assurances are a bold move by McConnell, who leads a larger Republican conference in the Senate, but still one that's in the minority. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has wide discretion in setting the Senate's calendar, and he's indicated little interest in bringing up repeal for a vote.

Reid's been locked in a battle with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) over the issue of bringing up Republicans' newly-passed bill in the Senate. Cantor's argued that if Reid is so confident that such legislation wouldn't pass the Senate, he should bring it up for a vote anyway.

Cantor has a point. Put your money where you mouth is, Harry. Of course, Reid is reluctant to bring repeal to a vote because there are 23 Democratic senators up for re-election who will have to go back to the home folks and explain why they didn't vote to get rid of this white elephant while there was still time.

That is going to be a very hard sell come 2012.