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Republicans Eye Quick Obamacare Repeal If Party Wins White House

Bloomberg Politics

Friday, February 5, 2016

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Republicans in Congress are exploring a way to enact a repeal of Obamacare and other parts of their agenda soon after a new Republican president takes the oath of office in 2017.

Several Republicans said they’re discussing the possibility of adopting a budget this year that would let the next president’s agenda — including top goals like repealing Obamacare — bypass a Democratic filibuster at the very start of the year. Republicans used a similar move early this year to send a bill repealing much of Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama, who vetoed it.

The strategy would allow Republicans who control the House and Senate to put just such a bill on the desk of a new president if their party wins the White House, without having to grind through months of budget process. To succeed, Republicans need the Senate parliamentarian to let them use rules set by a budget resolution into the next Congress…

Such a strategy “might pass muster,” said Bill Hoagland, a vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Republican congressional aide.

Legislation generally expires at the end of a Congress. Yet rules set by a budget resolution remain in force until a new one is adopted, meaning that a resolution enacted by the current Congress may allow a filibuster-free vote early next year on a new Republican president’s economic agenda, Hoagland said. “I think it might be an open question,” he said in an interview.