Washington (CNN) - The political struggle over defunding Obamacare in the Senate may turn out to be not much of fight at all.
The House is scheduled on Friday to vote on the proposal that will be attached to a must-pass spending bill to fund the government.
But when it all goes to the Senate next week, Democrats now expect to strip the Obamacare provision without interference from most Republicans.
Though Republicans oppose the sweeping but controversial health care law spearheaded by President Barack Obama that is due to take effect in coming weeks, they appear to be boxed in procedurally.
Three GOP senators – Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah - have strongly advocated defunding Obamacare as a condition for passing the spending bill, and they are expected to put up procedural hurdles.
But they may not get much support from their colleagues.
Emerging from a closed-door policy conference in the Capitol Thursday, several GOP senators, including those from the leadership, said they will vote for procedural motions that ultimately will let Democrats, who have a 54-46 majority, move to strike the Obamacare defunding language with a simple majority vote.
The first vote is expected as early as next Wednesday when the Senate moves to take up the bill. That vote would need 60 votes to succeed.
Many Republicans appear ready to join Democrats on that vote, as well as other procedural votes, because Republicans support the language defunding Obamacare.
After those procedural votes, because of the complex rules of the Senate, Reid is in a position to strike the health care provision with a simple majority of the chamber.
Democrats would vote to get rid of the language they oppose and Republicans would vote to keep it in. A vote on final passage, again only a simple majority needed, would come soon after the Obamacare language was removed.
The bill would be expected to pass the Senate and would then be sent back to the GOP-controlled House which would have to decide whether to pass it and keep the government running or defeat it and possibly see a government shutdown.