Despite the obvious failure of the Senate’s version of Trumpcare due to Republicans who won’t vote to send it to the floor, they’re still trying to get it to the floor and passed as quickly as they can. They’ve been using budget reconciliation to try and get it through with a simple majority of 51 votes, but according to new information, huge portions of the bill actually require 60 votes.
That means that, if they manage to get it the floor, provisions that conservatives have been clamoring for will be stripped out. Those provisions that violate the rules for reconciliation include defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting tax credits on insurance plans that cover abortion.
Republican leadership wants to vote to send the bill to the floor for debate. However, even if that happens, the provisions requiring 60 votes can be stripped out entirely if someone objects to them. And there are plenty of Democrats that will probably raise objections.
A spokesman for Mitch McConnell tried to point out that all this revelation is, is guidance from the Senate parliamentarian, meant to inform subsequent drafts of a bill. The thing is, that doesn’t really matter here because now the GOP is stuck. They can go with the bill as is, which will surely be a complete failure, or they can face having their cherished abortion provisions stripped from the bill.
Or they can alter the bill so that the language doesn’t violate reconciliation rules, which means they probably won’t have anything to vote on next week.
In any case, they’ll probably piss off their conservative base.
This is what happens when you waste seven years and then act like you had no time to try and get something together. You wind up throwing something together that’s stupid and sloppy, behind which you can’t even get your own party to unite.
Republicans are desperate to fulfill this particular campaign promise, and there’s a repeal-only bill that may well get the procedural vote next week instead of the full Trumpcare bill. Experts warn, though, that passing repeal without replacement is a monumentally bad idea. Regardless, the Senate GOP now finds itself between a rock and a hard place.
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