House GOP to waste no time in voting on repeal of ObamaCare

Welcome news:

The House will vote next week to repeal the new health care law, making good on a top-tier GOP campaign promise and setting up a showdown with President Barack Obama over his signature domestic policy achievement.

Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Monday the timeline for considering the repeal legislation: The bill will post on the Rules Committee website Monday night, the Rules Committee will meet Thursday, and the rule for the debate will be considered on the House floor Friday. The repeal vote will follow on Wednesday, Jan 12.

“Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement. “Further, Obamacare failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it. That is why the House will repeal it next week.”

The repeal effort is not expected to succeed, given that Democrats maintain control of the Senate and the president can veto the legislation. But Republicans could embarrass the White House if they persuade a number of Democrats to vote with them and, over the long term, plan to try to chip away at pieces of the law.

“We have 242 Republicans,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on “Fox News Sunday.” “There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes.”

And, of course, Senate Democrats are sending warning signals to incoming House Speaker Boehner. Short version: Don’t waste your time. Long version:

The 112th Congress doesn’t begin until Wednesday, but Senate Democrats are already vowing to block any attempts by the new GOP-led House to repeal the healthcare reform law.

The Senate’s top Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), wrote incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday warning the new GOP House against advancing legislation that would undo the sweeping healthcare overhaul.

“The incoming House Republican majority that you lead has made the repeal of the federal health care law one of its chief goals. We urge you to consider the unintended consequences that the law’s repeal would have on a number of popular consumer protections that help middle class Americans,” the Democrats said.

Democrats said repeal would threaten the consumer protections included in the healthcare package, including the provision that eliminates the so-called “doughnut hole” in seniors’ Medicare drug coverage.

“If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the healthcare law that threatens consumer benefits like the ‘donut hole’ fix, we will block it in the Senate. This proposal deserves a chance to work. It is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care,” wrote Reid, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Democratic Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Conference Secretary Patty Murray (Wash.) and Policy Committee Vice Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).

Democrats in the House, meanwhile, are already beginning to organize efforts to throw procedural wrenches into the repeal effort.

Without a doubt, there will be a few Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2012 who will be categorized as vulnerable. Ignore the leftwing “it won’t be repealed” naysayers, Bill Jacobson urges of Republicans, and push forward instead :

There are several vulnerable Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2012. Make them vote on repeal of Obamacare as an entirety, and in pieces.

And then run the advertisements early and often.

I second that motion.

Most of the time I despise symbolic votes when one party knows the likelihood of them getting their way on a particular bill is slim to none, but this is one of those times where it’s a good idea to have House Reps. and Senators of both parties to go on record as to where they stand on the issue of repeal or “repair” of the ObamaCare monstrosity. Many parts of the bill remain deeply unpopular with the American people, and those in districts/states whose Representatives and Senators voted in favor of ObamaCare – and who are still in office – need to go on record a second time around just so their constituents can see if their minds have changed. Of course, in some districts and states, you’ll find elements of ObamaCare popular enough that the House Rep. or Senator wouldn’t change their vote come hell or high water. But there will be competitive House and Senate races in 2012, and just as it was last fall, health care “reform” will be a major campaign issue for some Democrats in 2012.

As they say, stay tuned …

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