Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rush Limbaugh is wrong, as usual, about Obamacare passing the Senate without 60 votes

Obamacare passed the Senate 60-39 on December 24, 2009 with 58 Democrat and 2 Independent votes (one Republican did not vote, Jim Bunning).

The House passed this bill unchanged March 21, 2010, thus avoiding having to go through the House-Senate conference process and another vote again in each chamber. The bill's elements, if changed, were subject to filibuster back in the Senate because Scott Brown's election to the Senate in the interim on January 19, 2010 foreclosed the possibility of Democrats being able to overcome the 59-41 barrier.  60 votes are required to overcome the filibuster.

Reconciliation was used instead to change only budgetary elements in the bill, which were wanted by the Democrats in the House. For reconciliation purposes, simple majorities only are necessary.

Without a filibuster proof Senate majority, Republicans will be unable to repeal Obamacare.

Their only option is to gut the budgetary elements using their majorities in the House and Senate.

Obamacare will not go away in form until the stars align and Republicans capture 60 seats in the Senate.

It can only go away in practice in the interim by defunding it.

Republicans should re-pass the 2015 repeal legislation, which Obama vetoed, and send it to Trump for his signature as a downpayment.


Here is the Big Boob on the Right, getting it wrong today:

CALLER: Did the Democrats have 60 when they passed all this? I mean, what the hell?
RUSH: No, the Democrats did not. That’s why they used what’s known as budget reconciliation for many aspects of Obamacare, which was trickery. They didn’t have 60 votes. The Republicans, however, did not have the votes to stop anything at the time.  

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