GOP Trying To Derail, Challenge Health Reform Legislation
The Wall Street Journal: "Republicans are looking beyond Sunday's expected vote on the Democrats' health-care overhaul to focus on strategies for striking back should it pass, ranging from challenges to the measure by individual states to a national repeal campaign. ... GOP leaders hope at a minimum that they can energize conservative activists and turn the electorate against the Democrats in the crucial period after the law's enactment, when both parties would be fighting to define it in the public's mind before the November elections."
"In the immediate future, Republicans hope to derail a package of 'fixes' the Senate will vote on as soon as next week if the main bill passes. Even if that succeeds, the underlying overhaul would be law. Some states, anticipating the bill's passage, are moving to block its requirement that nearly everyone must buy health insurance, with subsidies if necessary. ... some lawyers said they do not expect the state laws to hold up in court" (Bendavid, 3/19).
USA Today: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky warned that House Democrats shouldn't assume the Senate will follow through and pass the sweeping legislation ... McConnell and other Senate Republicans are vowing to raise parliamentary objections and other legislative obstacles to block a package of revisions. ... Democratic senators are working to assure House colleagues that the Republican strategy won't work. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he has spent 'hours and hours' scrubbing the package of revisions to remove anything that might be vulnerable to parliamentary challenge. He dismissed Republican threats of amending the legislation to death" (Kiely, 3/19).
Roll Call: "Senate Republicans began scouring the legislation for rules violations that could derail the bill - and they believe they've found the first of several. ... If a reconciliation package is amended or changed in any way by the Senate, it must go back to the House for another vote. Because Republicans remain unified and Democrats lack the 60 votes required to overcome a budget point of order, it is assumed that any budget point of order raised by the GOP and upheld by the Senate Parliamentarian would result in the problematic measure being stripped" (Drucker, 3/18).