Republican senators have been desperate to do what they can to gut the Affordable Care Act, but have so far not succeeded. However, on the verge of bringing out their big guns, namely a procedural maneuver called, “reconciliation,” several important republican senators said they will not support the effort.
Reconciliation is a “fast-track” tool which can send a bill to repeal Obamacare straight to the president’s desk which the GOP-led Congress has been planning to use for many months. The procedure makes sure that Democrats in the Senate are not able to filibuster the legislation and derail one more effort to strangle the ACA.
But Democrats are not the only ones that can halt the new efforts. Three key Republican senators in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference have declared that they will vote against the proposed reconciliation package as it stands now. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Mike Lee of Utah, have all declared that the proposal does not go far enough in its gutting of Obamacare.
The reconciliation proposal has another bitter pill within it which can also further sway moderate Republicans from supporting the plan. There is a clause in the bill which requires Planned Parenthood to lose a year’s worth of funding. Moderates who are not keen on taking away funding from this important provider of women’s health care will think more than twice about supporting reconciliation.
“It is a mistake to do anything less than a full Obamacare repeal on reconciliation,” Cruz said in an interview with Politico. “That’s what Republicans promised the voters we would do, and that’s exactly what we should do.”