It is no secret that a top priority for virtually every Republican is to repeal Obamacare. With Republican control of the House of Representatives, Senate, and Presidency, many are optimistic about the prospects of fully repealing President Obama’s signature legislation.
Wednesday, the day after the new Congress was sworn in, the US Senate has already voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The vote came with 51 Senators voting in affirmation of the repeal, while 48 voted against the measure. Interestingly, the only Republican in the Senate to vote “no” was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. His opposition stemmed from the fact that the repeal was included in a resolution including the unbalanced budget for the upcoming year.
The process in which the measure was introduced was a budget resolution — which included a reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
This process is one which would only require a simple majority of Senators to pass the measure. Should they go through a process of simply repealing the law there would likely be a required 60 votes in order for it to pass out of the Senate.
While Senator Paul voted against the measure, other prominent Senators joined in on a letter which voiced support for the repeal but also called for a balanced budget. The letter stressed the importance of crafting a budget which would balance within ten years.
“The American people have given Republicans an historic opportunity to repeal Obamacare. They have delivered majorities to both chambers of Congress and elected a Republican President who has promised to make this a priority from day one. Therefore we write to support your efforts to pass a bill repealing Obamacare within the first few weeks of the 115th Congress.”
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) all signed the letter to Senate Republican leadership.
With such a slim majority of the Senate, Rand Paul may be able to be a very strong check on Senate leadership when they break away the fiscal conservative principles which they oftentimes claim to stand for. Ultimately, when Paul is able to create a coalition including the likes of Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, they could have the votes to block a measure from passing, granting them significant bargaining power with leadership.
What do you think? Will President-elect Trump have the opportunity to completely repeal Obamacare when he takes office? Let HYPELINE know what you think in the comments!