The Senate could vote on health care repeal as early as today.
On Tuesday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a repeal measure as an amendment to a pending FAA bill, and Democratic leaders have decided to allow it to go forward. However, they won’t, at this time, force Republicans to vote to repeal key, popular parts of the legislation.
“We want to get this out of their system quickly,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a press conference with his top deputies Tuesday afternoon, who said the vote could come up “sometime today,” depending on how long the floor debate drags on. Aides suggest the vote’s more likely to come Wednesday.
“A budget point of order lies against it. It breaks the budget by a trillion dollars, they don’t show any way of making up that trillion dollars.” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters. “I for one was hoping that Senator McConnell would not do this on this bill… but he did, its his right.”
To waive the point of order, Republicans will need 60 votes. They won’t come close.
“It’s going to lose,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
The point of order, Schumer said, “will be sustained.”
Republicans are also planning to introduce legislation to repeal the so called “1099 provision” — a financing measure which requires business owners to file a tax form transactions with vendors that cost more than $600.
Democrats reserve the right, however, to revisit repeal and push Republicans to vote up-or-down on the most popular parts of the bill. “There’s lots of things that are going to come forward over the next few months, and the belief is that the best thing to do right here is go with the budget point of order,” Schumer said. “We’ll see what happens down the road.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.