Republicans Promise to Tackle “Repeal and Replace” by End of March

GOP leaders set aggressive agenda

During a group huddle in Philadelphia, GOP leaders laid out an aggressive legislative agenda that would have Congress repeal major portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and pass replacement measures within the first 200 days of Republican control in Washington, according to an article in the Washington Post.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) unveiled plans that put repealing and replacing the PPACA as the first order of business, with the target date for action within the next three months.

At the meeting, GOP leaders laid out a three-pronged plan, beginning with a special “reconciliation” bill that would skirt a Democratic filibuster but would accomplish only some of the GOP’s health care goals, the Post reported. A quirk in the Senate rules allows budget-related legislation to pass with a simple majority. Republican leaders plan to use that loophole to repeal major portions of the PPACA and pass some elements of a replacement.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration intends to use its executive and regulatory powers to undermine the PPACA, while GOP lawmakers work on more-thorough replacement legislation. The latter, however, will need some Democratic support.

McConnell pointed out that most major legislation requires 60 votes to pass under Senate rules. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate, meaning that any significant bill would need the backing of at least eight Democrats.

Source: Washington Post; January 25, 2017.