Iowa's GOP senators cast doubt on health care law repeal

Posted June 01, 2017

Late Tuesday morning President Donald Trump posted a tweet that clearly demonstrates he has no idea how a bill becomes a law in the current Senate session. [Mitch] McConnell [the Republican majority leader].

Trump and Spicer both did not address a critical part of the health-care and tax-reform processes: The Senate already has the ability to pass both bills with a majority vote. Even when rule was changed in 1975 to make it 60 rather than 65 votes that were required to break a filibuster, it remained (and remains) the single most important difference between the House and the Senate.

Iowa's GOP senators cast doubt on health care law repeal

'There is an overwhelming majority on a bipartisan basis not interested in changing the way the Senate operates on the legislative calendar, ' McConnell said. We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%.

Still, GOP senators are keen to emphasize that they are working on a bill that is separate from the version passed by the House, Roll Call reports. That budget process is likely to be a challenging fight among defense hawks, spending cutters and tax-cut advocates.

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Mr. Trump's reference to "tax cuts" stands in contrast to his own budget, released last week.

The filibuster rule - which was formalized in 1917 but not used until 1919 to break a filibuster on the Treaty of Versailles (!) - was to further the distinction between Senate and House.

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The American Health Care Act, the House GOP plan to replace Obamacare, was pulled from the floor in March as the party failed to muster enough support to pass it. As long as the bill cuts the federal deficit, it is not subject to a 60-vote threshold. Democrats have been unified and vocal in their opposition to overturning the health-care policy that was the signature domestic achievement of the Obama administration.

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