Today is the anticipated -- if largely symbolic -- repeal vote on Obamacare in the House.
While this effort was practically a mandate from the mid-term election, it sadly stands little chance of passing through the Senate.
Interestingly, the Heritage Foundation posted a potential strategy for at least getting HR 2 on the floor for a vote using an interesting cocktail of Senate procedures:
This week the House will pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. Congressional experts will argue that the Senate won’t pass a full repeal. They are correct to argue that full repeal will not be passed by both the House and Senate in the next few months, but they may be wrong that a full repeal bill will not pass in this Congress within the next two years. If Senators don’t take two procedural steps this week, they will make it virtually impossible to ever get a vote on the House-passed full repeal bill this Congress.
If the House did parliamentary voodoo to get it passed, why not finagle rules in the Senate? A Senate vote on a repeal of Obamacare could potentially make or break 2012 elections.
Democrats in the Senate absolutely must get this bill killed and referring it to committee is the best chance. Democrats have 21 seats up in the next election cycle, not including the retirements of Conrad and Lieberman (technically an Independent, but caucuses with Democrats).
An outright vote to not repeal Obamacare would be THE issue for Ben Nelson in Nebraska and provide plenty of fodder for Republicans taking on Jim Webb (VA), Bob Casey (PA), Claire McCaskill (MO), Jon Tester (MT).
A Senate vote would be magic to conservative campaign folks like me -- and save our country -- I still think it's a long-shot. Killing this law and passing meaningful reform will take years. I think Steve King from Iowa is absolutely correct:
“We can bring about, in effect, a full repeal by just stopping the funding,” said King, R-Iowa. “It stops the collection of taxes and it stops, well, it stops the expenditure of the money and it stops the enforcement.” But without a repeal, he said, “it will grow back on us like a malignant tumor would grow back on us. So I want to pull it all out by the roots.”
Regardless of how this vote eventually goes down in Senate, today will be the stuff that 2012 campaign commercials and ads are made of.
Adrienne works in the conservative movement and blogs at Cosmopolitan Conservative.