Mike Lee has revealed today to the Washington Examiner that more of Obamacare can be repealed under reconciliation than what the House leadership suggests:
WASHINGTON EXAMINER – 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.
But having met with the parliamentarian, who plays a key role in advising the presiding officer of the Senate over what’s in bounds during reconciliation, Lee is more convinced than ever that this is not true.
“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,” Lee said. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
So they didn’t even consult the Parliamentarian on repealing the regulations until recently? That should have been one of the first question they asked.
It sounds like they really just don’t want to fully repeal Obamacare. After all, why would you keep the Obamacare regulatory powers that could potentially be reversed by the next administration? That’s absurd. Congress should be the only one writing laws, not the executive branch.
It’s good Mike Lee is putting this information out there because it just gives conservatives and the public another tool to try and push the Republican House leadership to get this right and actually repeal Obamacare.