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Coming up: a Senate vote on ObamaCare

From Hot Air:

One of the more intriguing parts of the budget deal announced late last night was a commitment from Harry Reid to allow two floor votes on Republican legislative priorities, both of which would never have otherwise seen in the Senate chamber before 2013.  The first is the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, a rider that got stripped out of last night’s final compromise, which would have an uncertain future in the Senate anyway.   The second, though, holds a great deal more promise, and a great deal of political risk for Democrats:

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, agreed to remove the Planned Parenthood provision in exchange for an agreement that would allow Congress to take up the funding issue separately.The Republicans also won inclusion of a provision that will require the Senate to vote on a bill to de-fund the health care reform law.

This codicil didn’t even get a mention in other news reports, but could be one of the more significant aspects of the agreement.  The House has already worked on a bill to repeal ObamaCare, which before now had absolutely no chance of consideration while Harry Reid ran the Senate.  As we repeatedly pointed out during the election, repeal of ObamaCare will be impossible until at least 2013, when we have an opportunity to elect and install a new President who will sign such a bill, even had we won control of the Senate.

So this isn’t important because it holds some new hope for a quicker repeal.  Rather, it forces Democrats to defend the massive government expansion of control yet again, this time closer to the 2012 election.  Democrats didn’t run on ObamaCare in 2010, except in reliably liberal districts for House races, and the last thing they need in an already-difficult cycle is another reminder to voters of the unpopular program.  By forcing a floor vote in this agreement, Reid will have to get his caucus — now reduced to 53 rather than 59 — to entirely back ObamaCare in a new vote.

Read the rest at Hot Air.


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