Congressional Republicans are carefully sorting through options to repeal President Obama's health care law, just a week after it was upheld by the Supreme Court.
They aren't waiting long, either. After the July 4th recess, the House plans to vote on a full repeal, which has been approved by the GOP-controlled chamber once before.
The repeal will almost certainly pass the House but will likely die in the Democratic-controlled Senate and would be vetoed by Obama if it somehow made it to his desk.
But a scenario exists where Republicans could overturn the law if two things happen.
First, GOP senators would have to win enough seats in November's election to take over the Senate, even if by one vote. Then, they could use a rare legislative tactic known as reconciliation, which basically allows bills to be passed by a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the usually necessary 60. That, incidentally, is just how Democrats passed the law in the Senate in late 2010.
Second, presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have to be elected to remove the threat of a presidential veto.
The overall scenario seems unlikely. Not only would every GOP senator have to vote in favor of repeal, without a single defection, but Obama has been consistently leading Romney in most national polls.
Even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the odds are against repealing the law.
"If you thought it was a good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, I'd say the odds are still on your side," McConnell said while visiting a hospital in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. "Because it's a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place."
However, McConnell also said he believed the GOP would win enough votes for repeal and added that he wouldn't hesitate to use the reconciliation process.
Chief Justice John Roberts may have helped the GOP's case. Because Roberts ruled the individual mandate requiring Americans to obtain health insurance was a tax, it falls under the category of legislative topics that are allowed under the congressional reconciliation process.
"That's the kind of measure that can be pursued with 51 votes in the Senate," McConnell said on Fox News Sunday. "And if I'm the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of 'Obamacare' will be job one."
by RTT Staff Writer
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