Incoming Republicans Threaten to Unravel Healthcare Reform ASAP
With the 112th Congress set to convene on Wednesday, the new Republican House majority has come out swinging, threatening to un-do key Obama administration victories -- namely healthcare reform -- as soon as possible.
Reports the Huffington Post:
Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) predicted on Sunday that House Republicans would not only have enough votes to repeal the president's health care reform law, but also could have the numbers to override a presidential veto of that repeal, and would start the process before the upcoming State of the Union address.
"As part of our pledge we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early," Upton said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "That will happen before the president's State of the Union address. We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House, last march; it only passed by seven votes."
Them's fightin' words, for sure, but they may be somewhat toothless. For the healthcare reform law to actually be overturned, it would have to get 67 votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate. The realthreat to the law is more likely to be part 2 of Upton's plan:
"After that, we're going to go after this bill piece by piece," he said. "We'll look at the 1099 issue -- Dave Camps' committee, Ways and Means -- to look at the $600 1099 that has to be processed for every business transaction. We'll look at the individual mandate requirement and all of those as individual pieces. We are going to take up early the Pitts-Stupak language 'no funds shall be spent on abortion' as a separate bill early on. And we will look at the individual pieces to see if we can't have the thing crumble."
As the New York Timesnotes, healthcare is just a starting point for Republicans looking to take Obama down a notch.
Health care is only one item on an aggressive agenda of Republicans eager to distinguish themselves quickly from the House that was run by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Many seem to have latched on to “Undo It” the hit by the country singer Carrie Underwood, as the refrain for their planned attack against legislation that grew out of the 111th Congress, when the Democrats were at the helm in both chambers.
The health care law, entitlement programs, new limits on emissions of greenhouse gases from oil refineries and power plants, and other legislation that Republicans say cannot be justified by a strict interpretation of the Constitution — a document the new leaders plan to read on the House floor on Thursday — are all in the cross hairs.