The Corner

How Senate Republicans Could Force a Repeal Vote

NBC lays out two options:


First, McConnell could withhold any deals or agreements to proceed to any legislation without a guarantee of a repeal vote, effectively throwing sand in the Senate’s procedural gears until the law is addressed.

Another way to force a vote is for McConnell or any Republican senator to offer a “motion to suspend the rules,” essentially asking for a change in Senate rules to require a vote on a repeal amendment. If all members are present, it would take 67 votes to succeed.

This was the rule Republican Sen. Tom Coburn used recently to force a vote to ban earmarks after Reid refused to bring the measure to the floor. And there is nothing that prevents any senator from using this strategy.

I’m not especially hopeful. With this sort of thing, Reid is likely to fight hard against a vote if he knows even one or two of his Democrats are balky. Conversely, if his caucus is firm, he’ll probably give McConnell what he wants.


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