The GOP leadership are using the reconciliation process to get through ‘Phase One’ of Obamacare’s repeal and replace strategy. According to House Speaker [score]Paul Ryan[/score] (R-WI), that’s why they can’t have everything that every Republican wants. The reconciliation process carries with it very narrow rules about what can and can’t be included in the bills – only budget-related items can be included.
One of the reasons for using the reconciliation process is that the bill can’t be filibustered in the Senate. As The Atlantic explains, “it essentially expedites Senate consideration of bills pertaining to the budget—sidestepping the legendary power of the Senate filibuster and constraining debate to 20 hours.”
As former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich explained, what the Republicans have so far is merely the first installment in their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. And not only that, but it can be amended. All the GOP leadership are trying to do is to get something through the senate quickly so they can go on to the next step. And obviously, they have to craft something that a majority will vote for.
“If you want to pass something very early, you’re going to have to pass it under senate reconciliation rules. That’s just a fact,” Gingrich told Sean Hannity in an interview. “Now, if that’s what you’re going to do, those rules define narrowly what can be in the bill.”
He continued, “So, at least half the complaints are about a reality that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are working with.”
Gingrich said that if he were speaker, he would have done something “pretty close to what Paul Ryan did.” He explained how this process will play out:
“Bring a bill out, go to markups, allow amendments. Then they go from Energy and Commerce [Committee] and Ways and Means [Committee] to a markup in the Budget Committee of the combined bill. Then you go to the Rules Committee, and remember, look, the Freedom Caucus can walk in and say, ‘We want to put these amendments in order,’ and they can say, ‘We’re not going to vote for the rule unless we get some amendments.’ This is the legislative process.”
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