McConnell: The House Kept Its Repeal Pledge, Now It's Our Turn

Posted: Jan 20, 2011 9:04 AM
The Senate Republican Leader reacts to last evening's vote in the House, underscoring the point that the lower chamber's action merely represents the first step down the long path toward full repeal:

"The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't want to vote on this bill, but I assure you -- we will."

How might McConnell deliver on that promise?  Heritage's Brian Darling suggests invoking "rule 22," a tactic Democrats could thwart, but not without making fools of themselves in the process (via Allahpundit):

The House will pass H.R. 2 this week. Once that bill is passed, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration. Once the Senate receives the bill, any Senator can use Rule 14 to object to the second reading of the bill. This procedural objection will “hold at the desk” the House-passed bill and allow the Senate to act on the full repeal measure.

If the bill is referred to committee, it will never get to the Senate floor. 

If any Senator can gather 16 signatures on a cloture petition, then they could file that petition with the clerk of the Senate. This would commence a proceeding that would end with a vote requiring 60 votes to shut off debate on a motion to proceed to a full repeal of Obamacare within two days of the filing of the petition. It is expected that Senate liberals would use Rule 22 to filibuster a full repeal of Obamacare. This would put many Senate Democrats in the interesting situation of voicing support for so-called “filibuster reform” while at the same time using the filibuster rule to block an up or down vote on Obamacare.

Senate Democrats may face the following dilemma: Entertain their short-sighted filibuster reform fetish, or shelter their massive, unaffordable government intrusion into healthcare from Republican interference? I have a sneaking suspicion which priority would win out.

Parting Thought: Even if the GOP wins back the Senate in 2012 (which is looking more promising by the day) and even manages to recapture the White House, Democrats could still just filibuster Obamacare repeal into oblivion, right? 

Maybe not.