Friday, Congress will vote on H.R. 3762, a reconciliation bill that will strike key parts of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual and employer mandates. Yet, like many pieces of legislation, it has done little to reconcile competing forces on the hill. Prominent conservatives say it doesn't go far enough.
First, the case for reconciliation. Forbes' Ryan Ellis has hailed H.R. 3762 for its tax cut provisions and gut wrench to Obamacare - a win-win for conservatives.
“H.R. 3762 is a net tax cut. It is a net spending cut. It is a net cut in the deficit and debt. It repeals the most essential parts of Obamacare. It cannot be filibustered by Harry Reid. It causes heartburn in the other team. And it will force President Obama to double down on the most unpopular parts of his healthcare law. It’s a bill House conservatives can and should enthusiastically support."
Ellis goes on to explain that reconciliation has a good chance of passing because unlike most Senate bills, it doesn't need 60 votes - it only needs 51 and it cannot be filibustered.
Yet, some are refusing to lend support to a bill that does not fully repeal Obamacare. Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio issued the following statement explaining why they simply can't vote in favor of it.
“On Friday the House of Representatives is set to vote on a reconciliation bill that repeals only parts of Obamacare. This simply isn’t good enough. Each of us campaigned on a promise to fully repeal Obamacare and a reconciliation bill is the best way to send such legislation to President Obama’s desk. If this bill cannot be amended so that it fully repeals Obamacare pursuant to Senate rules, we cannot support this bill. With millions of Americans now getting health premium increase notices in the mail, we owe our constituents nothing less.”
They're not alone. In a surprising move, the conservative group Heritage Action also expressed their displeasure with the bill and urged Congress to reject it.
Are these conservatives asking for too much? As Guy reported, sources on the hill believe reconciliation is the best chance they have to repeal the unpopular health care legislation - and Democrats are afraid of it.
A House Ways and Means Committee spokesman tells Townhall the legislation that is slated to be voted on this week, and against which Heritage Action is lobbying, represents "the best way to repeal the worst parts of the law. The constraints of reconciliation prohibit a repeal of the entire law." He accurately adds that Democrats have inveighed against the bill, angrily arguing that it would "gut" and "destroy" Obamacare as a whole.
Republicans hold a tight majority in the Senate, 54-46. With three senators already voicing their opposition, that leaves little room for error for reconciliation to reach its 51-vote threshold.