Senate Republicans eye health care repeal
January 23rd, 2011
02:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Senate Republicans eye health care repeal

Washington (CNN) - Democratic and Republican senators agreed Sunday that the Senate will vote to change elements of the health care legislation passed in the last Congress, most likely through amendments to other bills.

With Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, saying he will not allow a full repeal bill on the Senate floor, Republicans said they will offer provisions that could include repealing the entire law or, if that fails, addressing concerns one by one.

"If they don't want to have the vote, we'll have the vote," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on "Fox News Sunday." "I can assure you we'll have a vote on repeal."

Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain said a vote is needed in the Senate because "we promised the people we would."

"We have to have a vote on repeal so that everybody is on record whether they want to repeal. And then I think piece by piece we go through, 'replacing,'" McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Now I'm told already that the Democrats may agree with us on some changes. But there needs to be a lot more changes than what they're willing to agree to, and it has to be the subject of a national debate."

Republicans, McCain said, will force a vote on a full repeal, while Democrats, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said, will force a vote on each specific benefit outlined in the original legislation. Both parties are jockeying for use of the issue in the 2012 campaign.

"Are Republicans going to vote no on a provision to maintain the doughnut hole benefits so that seniors pay less for prescription drugs? Are they going to vote against the ability of 21- to 26-year-olds to stay on their parents' health care?," Schumer said on "Face the Nation," using the rhetorical questions to emphasize elements of the legislation Democrats deem positive.

"At the end of the day, their effort to repeal is not going to work at all," Schumer said, adding that a Republican-sponsored repeal amendment would be "so full of holes it looks like Swiss cheese."

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois was skeptical that McConnell would be able to find enough votes to support a full repeal, but opened the door to revising the law.

He said he will back changing the 1099 requirement, which requires small businesses to report vendor purchases over $600.

"It's unreasonable, it goes too far," Durbin said.

Other Democrats, including Schumer, have also expressed reservations about the requirement.

A full repeal of the law passed through the Republican-controlled House in January, but a Democratic majority in the Senate makes that course improbable in the upper chamber. However, Republicans in the Senate argue their mandate from the 2010 election is the same, regardless of which party is in control.

When asked why the Senate would waste time on a repeal vote, McCain said, "One thing about the Senate, it is not the most efficient organization."

Filed under: Congress • Health care • Senate
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. annie s

    Will the republicans stop at nothing to destroy any progress America makes?

    January 23, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans want to repeal everything including the 21st century because that's all they have to offer. For 8 years of the Bush administration these Republicans did nothing and you'd think they would have a plan other than repealing everything. Some things just don't make sense, 8 years of doing nothing and having no plan, I bet most Americans couldn't run their household like that and be rewarded as Republicans.

    January 23, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Lou

    Before the Republicans repeal anything that benefits the American people, they should give up their government health insurance and raise their retirement age to 67 or higher like they are suggesting for the rest of us.

    January 23, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Marcus

    The bill is not perfect, no doubts about that. It can be improved, also no doubts about that.
    Instead of working on the improvements, the GOPers wants to repeal it (denying with a straight face that this movement will add more billions to the deficit without explaining how and where the CBO, which they praise as the 'Source of Undisputed Facts' when they want to, got it wrong on that claim)...
    It's just politics, and they (both GOPers and Dems) are at least honest to admit that...
    Meanwhile, the GOPers promises to focus on jobs is still waiting to be fulfilled...

    January 23, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Get A Grip

    Get rid of this 'Obamacare'. It will destroy us. And in case you haven't notice, that was the message in Nov.

    January 23, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Reid is a loser

    Look who is the party of NO now...2 pages, up or down vote. What is Reid afraid of. If the dems really believed this is good than it would take 1 day to vote on the house bill and the repeal would be dead. I think he fears that more dems will vote to repeal than he thinks....

    January 23, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Good luck. Tom DeLay would be proud. Typical business as usual Republican politics. All the GOP has done the past 20 years is invent new, creative ways to stall for time, delay, debate meaningless wedge issues to justify their "don't rock the boat" agenda.

    January 23, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Margie

    OH MY to you mean that the republicans WHEN THEY WANT SOMETHING for the corporations they bow to would deem to vote and not say NO NO NO NO NO to provisions that would help the average American.

    Goodness gracious more and more and more these American hating republicans show their true colors.

    January 23, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. DemFL

    Really, still up to the same old tricks, a bunch of hot air with nothing to contribute. Blah blah blah Stop wasting our time and money and come up with real working plans. Buffoons!

    January 23, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Karen Summers

    I would repectively request the Senate to amend THEIR 99% funded government health care ! The pension plans of the congress should also be reviewed.

    January 23, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. TomNPITT

    Why is the Election of 2010 so important to the republican's, when the Election of 2008 meant nothing to them.
    For two years they did less than nothing to move the ball forward. Now they want to spend the nex two years tring to move the ball backeards.

    January 23, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. T

    Why do u need a repeal vote to know who's for the bill and who's against it!! Come on Repubs are against healthcare reform and the democratic party is for it!! Having a stupid vote to keep a promise is just a waste of time and money!! We know where u stand!! OBAMA 2012!!!

    January 23, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Dave In Nevada

    I suppose all the Senate Republican tea baggers could stand out in the parking lot and take a vote. Too bad the couldn't find something positive to do with their time.

    I don't suppose the righties have anything on the "jobs" front to offer? I didn't think so.

    January 23, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. kyle

    Tax cuts for the rich, still no jobs, looks like the GOP will spend the next two years stalling.

    January 23, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. babawabaa

    Instead of spending time and money on repealing the helath care bill, it would make more sense for everyone to utilize those resources improving upon what has already been initiated. STOP trying to reinventi the wheel. Its a waste of time and money. Resources saved could than be used on other issues such as the economy, jobs, education etc.

    January 23, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. CAW in MD

    There is so much good that can be done with the health care reform if the two parties would work together to amend it rather than try to repeal and replace it. Trying to repeal it is just sticking it in the eye of Obama - no Democrat is going to sit around for that. But if you approach it with "There are significant improvements we can make to this bill that we can agree on", you'd find a much more receptive audience. Republicans are misreading the voters.

    January 23, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Will someone please remind Senator McConnell that he is the MINORITY leader, and as such does not set Senate agenda? Will someone else please remind Senator Reid that the sponsors do not have to accept amendments to bills without a 2/3 majority in favor of the amendment?

    January 23, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. txbrent

    This is a complete waste of time and goverment resources. Regardless of what the Republicans do, it's all in vain because the President will simply veto it, and there's no way the Republicans can muster a 2/3's majority in the senate to override that veto, not to mention only 25 percent of people now support repealing the health care law according to the latest Associated Press poll. I thought the Republicans said they were going to listen to and do the will of the people? Where's their own Joe Wilson to shout "YOU LIE!" when you need him. What the AP poll shows is that 43 percent say they want the law changed (NOT repealed) so it does more to re-engineer the health care system. Outright repeal would add another $230 billion to the deficit. Once again, I thought the Republicans ran on not increasing the deficit. Once again – YOU LIE!. That's why this repeal move was not taken through the new GOP transparency rules for submitting new legislation in the House requiring that any new bill state how it would be paid for. Very convenient how they don't have to explain how they would pay for the $230 billion increase in the deficit caused by this repeal legislation. GOP and hypocricy seem to be synonymous these days.

    January 23, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. pat

    if the republicans say they are listening to the American people, why are they willing to repeal the whole bill instead of fixing the parts that need fixing. Who are they listening to! They need to stop making it sound like they are doing what the entire country wants.

    January 23, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    There is no such thing as Obamacare. That was made up by the lying job killing republicans. 18% of voters with get a grip, as he is far removed from reality.

    January 23, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. vic nashville tn

    Issue number 1 in 2012 again health care; republicans will debate health care next two years shame
    Republicans totally ignoring issue 1 job for Americans

    January 23, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Dale

    It is a select few CAREER 20 year plus congressmen and senators pushing for this health care reform to stay in place, that the American people do not want.
    If there was nothing in it for them, they would not be pushing for it so hard there has to be something big in it for them.
    Does anyone out there know who is going to profit the most out of this health care reform; it is not going to be the American people, they are going to be the losers guaranteed.
    The winners are going to be a few top insider fat cats going to profit the most, who are these people does anyone know.

    January 23, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Just_Me

    I am against a full repeal. That will do much more harm than good, becauase in doing that you're not only getting rid of the bad, but also the good (and whether Republicans and Tea Partiers want to believe it or not, there are some very good things in this bill). But if they want to take up individual issues and vote on that, then that would be fine with me.

    January 23, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. sara

    Why does the GOP say this is what the American people want. I don't now about any of you here on this post, but did anyone ask you? No one ask me.

    January 23, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Unenrolled in Massachusetts

    The republicans have no mandate to repeal health care. Their mandate is to work with the dems to create jobs!

    January 23, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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