Reconciliation karma could hit Obamacare
If the GOP has the wit and guts to follow through, a workable strategy to repeal Obamacare has come into view, using the very reconciliation process that led to passage of the unpopular bill. Writing at Breitbart, Mike Flynn explains the opportunity that has been opened up.
The key is the budget resolution passed last week:
Over the next two weeks, while Congress is in recess, the House and Senate will begin to hammer out small differences between the budget resolutions that passed each chamber. Leaders in both chambers have vowed to meet the April 15th deadline to produce a final budget resolution.
The final product of House and Senate negotiations on a budget resolution matters less than the process by which any deal will be enacted. Congress, particularly the Senate, can use “reconciliation” to make policy changes that involve the final budget agreement. Reconciliation limits the amount of debate in the Senate on the final resolution and, most importantly, operates outside the filibuster process, so it requires only a simply majority of 51 votes for passage. (snip)
With reconciliation, the GOP now has the very tool it campaigned for during these past 5 years. It could repeal ObamaCare, enact long-overdue tax reform and give citizens real choices over entitlement programs. It can push its policies without the specter of a government shutdown or against the false narrative of a government default.
This is exactly how Obamacare was passed into law, avoiding a GOP filibuster in the Senate after the 60th Democrat seat in the Senate was lost to the GOP in a special election following Ted Kennedy’s death. Obamacare was added onto a reconciliation bill. In the same manner, the GOP can paste in repeal of Obamacare.
As Flynn notes, Obama will veto the reconciliation. But the GOP can make minor changes and send back to him again and again, forcing him to veto it, and also placing pressure on Democrat senators to sustain his veto – the functional equivalent to voting for Obamacare, a deeply unpopular program.
And the beauty of this strategy is:
If a budget resolution is never finally enacted, because Obama digs in his heels and refuses to negotiate, nothing happens. There will be no shutdown of government and no risk of “defaulting” on the national debt. The resolution’s failure, however, would provide voters with the clearest distinction between the governing vision of each party. It would provide a strong scaffolding for the 2016 elections.
In the end, it is about symbolic appearances. But the composition of the Senate during the next presidency is at stake, and forcing Democrat senators to go on the record as supporting Obamacare now that we know its many failures can help maintain the GOP’s majority.