What Happens To Obamacare Repeal Now In The Senate?
House Republicans were in a celebratory mood Thursday after narrowly passing their Obamacare repeal bill. Now they get to watch the Senate do something completely different.
After weeks of holding at arm’s length the messy negotiations in the lower chamber, Senate Republicans on Thursday made clear that they had started working on their own bill, albeit one that will “incorporate” some parts of the House bill, according to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of GOP Senate leadership.
Assuming that GOP Senate can settle on the plan that can garner 51 Republican votes, the House and the Senate will have to then reconcile their two versions before each chamber takes a final vote – meaning the ultimate legislation to dismantle Affordable Care Act is still multiple steps away.
For now, the next stage of the process is a plan being worked on by a 12-member Senate GOP working group, according to a Washington Examiner report. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), a working group member, said they have been discussing for weeks how to “build a consensus.”
The dynamics in the House to get enough votes to pass its legislation, the American Health Care Act, were messier than many expected. The calculus on the Senate side isn’t any simpler. Republicans there will have a much smaller margin of error; they can lose only two votes and still pass it through the reconciliation process, which will avoid a Democratic filibuster. The process also imposes strict rules that constricts what they include in their legislative package.
Furthermore, many senators don’t have the luxury of representing purely red territory. On health care specifically, the Senate GOP caucus is split beyond just the typical ideological lines. Read full story here