House Will Take Up Repeal Of ObamaCare Before State Of The Union
The next round in the health care reform wars is about to start.
The new Republican House looks likely to take its first shot against the President very early in the new term:
The incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Sunday that Republicans will bring up a healthcare repeal measure before President Obama even delivers his State of the Union address this month.
“I think there wil be a significant number of Democrats who will join us,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Upton said that leaders are counting on Democrats who voted against the massive healthcare reform package to do so again, coupled with greater GOP numbers.
“I don’t think we’re going to be that far off from having the votes to override a veto,” he said.
That last part is actually laughable. Leaving aside the fact that ObamaCare repeal would never get the 67 votes needed for an override in the Senate, House Republicans would need 290 votes to override a Presidential veto, which means they’d need to find 42 Democrats willing to override a Presidential veto of the biggest piece of legislation of his Presidency. That isn’t going to happen.
Steven Benan gets it right, I think, when he says that this is largely for show:
There’s almost certainly a realization on everyone’s part that House Republicans are doing this for show. If passed, their repeal measure can’t pass the Senate, and wouldn’t overcome a veto. The GOP wants to pursue repeal just so they can say they pursued repeal. This isn’t going to be policymaking from responsible, problem-solving lawmakers; this is going to be a public-relations stunt. We can probably expect quite a bit of this over the next two years — Republicans are great at campaigning, but tend to have trouble governing once the election has come and gone.
Perhaps, but Benan misses the rest of what Upton said this morning:
After that, Upton said, House Republicans will work on chipping away the healthcare bill piece by piece, such as the 1099 requirements and individual mandates.
Upton also said that the Stupak language — an executive order from Obama to ensure that public dollars wouldn’t be used to fund abortions — will be taken up early as a separate bill.
Some of these provisions, like repealing the onerous and unnecessary 1099 reporting requirements which will hit small businesses most directly, actually have a fairly decent chance of making it through both the House and the Senate if put up as individual bills. What President Obama does with them will then be his choice, but if the GOP plays its cards right on this piece-by-piece strategy rather than going for the Hail Mary Pass of a complete repeal that has no chance of succeeding, they might actually grab a few victories over the next two years.