GOP Strategy: Delay, Block, Repeal
As Democrats focus on advancing health overhaul legislation in the House, Senate Republicans are plotting ways to delay or block the effort, Politico reports. "Republican aides have been mining the Senate's arcane parliamentary rules for an attack that aims at striking elements both broad and narrow from the bill, weakening the measure and ultimately defeating it." They hope they will either convince enough Senate Democrats to oppose the bill, or frighten House Democrats into backing down for fear that the Senate will not have to votes to support House-proposed changes (Budoff Brown and Raju, 3/18).
Roll Call: "House and Senate Republicans for several weeks have quietly coordinated an intense, disciplined effort to defeat President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation, timed to scare Democrats just as they prepare for a final vote." The coordinating effort began before a Feb. 25 health summit with Democratic leaders, and involves daily conference calls between leaders from both chambers. Republican House Whip Eric Cantor presents a list of vulnerable House Democrats during these calls (Drucker, 3/18).
The Washington Post: If all else fails, Republicans are already talking about a last resort. "Even as House Democrats search for the votes to send a health-care reform bill to President Obama, dozens of Republican lawmakers and candidates have signed a pledge to back an effort to repeal the measure, should the GOP take control of either chamber of Congress after this fall's elections" (Bacon, 3/18).