Thursday, March 23, 2017

LEE: "Senate parliamentarian told me it's possible to push harder on repealing Obamacare regulations"

WashingtonExaminer: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said on Wednesday that the Senate parliamentarian has told him that it may be possible for Republicans to push harder on repealing Obamacare's regulations than the current House bill, which contradicts the assertion by House leadership that the legislation goes after Obamacare as aggressively as possible under Senate rules.

"What I understood her to be saying is that there's no reason why an Obamacare repeal bill necessarily could not have provisions repealing the health insurance regulations," Lee said in an interview with the Washington Examiner, relating a conversation with parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough about reconciliation he had on Tuesday.

Lee also said that the parliamentarian told him it wasn't until very recently, after the unveiling of the House bill, that any Republican even asked her about the possibility of repealing regulations with a simple majority.

With a House vote currently expected on Thursday, Republican leadership is scrambling for votes, trying to stave off a backlash from conservatives that could sink the bill. One of the issues conservatives have raised is that the House bill leaves most of the regulations in place, thus not combatting one of the main complaints about Obamacare – its skyrocketing premiums and limited choice.
The rest is well worth the read, but just from Sen. Lee's pull quotes, it's even clearer who should be running point on such an important piece of legislation...
"One of the things we've been told over and over again is the bill was no more aggressive than it has been... in part because of Senate rules. And the Senate rules are something those defending the bill have repeatedly pointed to in defense of why they wrote it the way they wrote it. The parliamentarian said, there's not necessarily any reason that would categorically preclude you from doing more, both on the repeal front and the replacement front, all sorts of things are possible."

"What matters is how it's done, how it's written up. There are ways it's written up that perhaps make it not subject to passage through reconciliation, but there are other ways you could write it that might make it work."

"There's no reason categorically to conclude you couldn't."

"She was also saying until very recently, nobody had even asked her about it. And yet one of the arguments consistently used by those behind the bill is, 'This thing is the most aggressive we can pass and can get through Senate rules.' And it's just not true."

"That's one of the things that I find so stunning about this House bill. It still does include things that could be really problematic, and that some have suggested could even be fatal. So it's not as if they have crafted it in the most cautious manner possible relative to the reconciliation rules."
If the House does manage to pass this half-ass'd Obamacare 2.0 patch tomorrow, it'll be left to Lee and the handful of other conservatives in the Senate to not only force these regulatory matters under reconciliation, but also push for a corrective rewrite to send back to the House (one of which is the first related link below).

Here was a great interview that covers this & more from Wednesday's Mark Levin Show...

Related links: Immigration provision cut from Obamacare rollback, angering conservatives
Don’t Stop. We’re Winning on Swampcare
BURN. Mike Lee Scorches House Leadership Over SwampCare

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