09.23.2013 46

Senate Republicans actually do have the votes to stop Obamacare

HarryReidDefundisDeadBy Robert Romano

“I want to be absolutely crystal clear — any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead. Dead.”

That was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) telling reporters last week that there would not be the votes to pass a House Republican plan to defund the health care law via the continuing resolution.

Something he and his colleagues might consider, however, is that that really cuts both ways.

Republicans have 46 members in the U.S. Senate, more than enough to defeat cloture on any continuing resolution that will ultimately result in Obamacare being funded.

To do so, they will first have to block a parliamentary maneuver by Reid to proceed to the continuing resolution in a manner that will allow the defund Obamacare language to be stripped out with a simple majority vote.

According to Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle, “They could refuse to grant cloture in the first place until a unanimous consent agreement is reached in the Senate that any amendment added to the bill post-cloture would also be subject to a 60-vote threshold. They could also require Reid to fill what is known as the ‘amendment tree,’ a list of amendments that is the maximum of what could be considered on a bill, with amendments other than that one, before agreeing to grant cloture.”

But, reports Boyle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refuses to commit to using all the tools in his parliamentary toolbox to do just that. He would be well advised, however, that consciously voting to proceed to any bill that invariably winds up funding Obamacare — even if the amendment to strip the defund language is to be agreed to post-cloture — is just the same as proceeding to a bill where the defund language had already been removed.

Yet, Senate Republicans appear to be content with playing dumb and pretending they will be voting to proceed to legislation that defunds Obamacare — when everyone already knows it in the end it will not.

For example Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said, “It doesn’t seem to make much sense to vote ‘no’ on a bill that contains the defund-ObamaCare provision. I don’t know anybody in our conference who’s for ObamaCare, so I think they’d vote ‘yes’ to get on a bill to defund it.”

That doesn’t sound like Senate Republicans are really committed to the defund strategy. But even if they aren’t — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of” — there is another case to be made for waging a filibuster.

It would strengthen the GOP’s hand. When it is clear that there are neither the votes to fund Obamacare nor to defund it in the Senate, it would force Reid and the White House to the negotiating table.

While many observers have suggested that Reid and Obama will never compromise, history suggests otherwise.

The continuing resolution passed in March 2011 was a compromise largely negotiated by House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) that resulted in some small cuts to the budget. Sequestration was another compromise in exchange for raising the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion in August 2011. The tax deal in December 2012 was yet another compromise in exchange for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

This speaks not only to the willingness of Democrats to make a deal, but also to the utility of Republicans using these leverage points, whether they be continuing resolutions, debt ceiling increases, or otherwise, to achieve major concessions.

As Sen. Ted Cruz noted on Fox News in an interview with Neil Cavuto, “I know for sure that you lose 100 percent of the battle that you begin by surrendering, and all these Republicans who say we can’t win, if they want, these various pundits who want us to surrender, that will make sure we can’t win.”

Cruz is right. Consider the alternative offered by the Washington, D.C. establishment, which frowns upon any confrontation over the continuing resolution or debt ceiling. They fear anything that smacks of a government shutdown or risks default. They would apparently just have Obamacare opponents simply capitulate.

But surely to constituents of Republican senators — who have sworn up and down they oppose Obamacare — submission to a law that will force them onto government-run, taxpayer-funded health insurance is untenable.

They will intuitively understand what this fight is all about, and come 2014, 2016, and subsequent election cycles, they will likely collect political scalps, or attempt to, of any senator whom they perceive forced them onto Obamacare.

In a stark warning to senators, Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens defined the choice facing the so-called deliberative body: “The message for the Senate is very simple: If you vote to fund Obamacare via the continuing resolution, you will own the health care law. If you vote to invoke cloture on a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare, you will own it.  And if you vote against a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare, you will own it, too.”

So, the choice belongs to each and every senator. They can stand with the American people, and block cloture on any continuing resolution that funds Obamcare, or they can roll over and let it be implemented.

But they would be well-advised that should they surrender, the American people will not forget — and they are not forgiving.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

  • lexguy

    With the like of Lindsay Graham and McRino that’s not going to happen.

  • daveveselenak

    Don’t hold your breath, these “Re-PUNK-licans” haven’t the heart to do what is “Right” for themselves or our country! I don’t know how but they must have been compromised in some way for them to continue to go against the will of their constituents and that is why a third party is needed but we don’t have that much time to stop this communist regime that is now swinging for the fences to complete the coup de grace – third world totalitarian oligarchy, hell, we are already three quarters there and the only two things needed to complete their mission are these: pass the Soviet style Obaa-baa-ma “death care” and confiiscate our weapons! This will – along with the EPA’s strategy of making electricity too expensive – tax the middle class out of existance, ruin the sorry-ass economy totally and render “US” unable to defend ourselves from Obaa-baa-ma’s “civilian army” (DHS, IRS, EPA, FDA, TSA, HSA, FEMA, city, county and state jackbooted thugs) which he has just about completed and that is why this sham of a death care bill must never be allowed to be enacted and our guns taken from “US” as that is specifically why our great, wise forefathers had put the second amendment in the bill of rights! They put it in there for this type of tyrannical regime that is now in POWER! WAKE UP, WISE UP, RISE UP!

  • Ted

    It’s easy to understand why Obama won his second term. Most Americans are just not very smart. The majority of Americans do not want to see
    the government shut down and we should know from past experiences that the
    Republicans will be blamed if there is a shutdown. The mass media including ABC, NBC, and CBS
    along with most of the paper media will hammer the republicans if the
    government is shut down. Our goal should
    be to win the Senate and keep the House in 2014 and then win the Presidency in
    2016. This is the only way we will get
    out of the mess that Obama has created.
    If we don’t look at the big picture we will continue to lose. The democrats are experts at playing this
    game and the Republicans just can’t seem to learn. If the Republicans will stop shooting
    themselves in the foot, there will be more and more Americans that will see the
    damage that Obamacare is doing to the nation.
    It will eventually be crushed under its own weight but if we lose the House
    and never get the Senate back, more laws will be passed to instill Obamacare
    into our society and it may be impossible to repeal.

  • PLS read this and understand that the Senate GOP is in the minority and don’t have the rights outlined in this piece. You are hurting the TP members who will feel let down and disenfranchised by thinking that all of this is possible.
    ObamaCare debate in the Senate will disenfranchize and disappoint TP members, Read why here: http://bit.ly/18kMwTO

  • Robert J. Romano

    You are wrong. To go to cloture on *any* legislation, including the continuing resolution, requires 60 votes. If Harry Reid attempts to go to cloture on a bill he intends to amend with a simple majority, Senate Republicans need only vote no on cloture to block the effort to strip out the defund Obamacare language. They should instead insist on a 60-vote threshold for any amendment to the CR, and then vote to defeat any amendment that strips the defund language out.

  • jwatersphd

    Robert, you ought to know that it’s not “government run” health insurance. There have always been laws about such matters. Why do you toss around inflammatory statements? I thought you were a man of reason. Guess you can be a demagogue when called upon. Still waiting, too, for any positive ideas you have on healthcare. I guess you like it the way it is.

  • jwatersphd

    What will happen is that people will see that the changes are favorable even though the overall idea has been poisoned by nonsense like “death panels” and “socialized medicine.” All this happened with Medicare and Social Security, which were demonized as apocalyptic, but now even tea-partiers defend them. The problems with the ACA can be worked out, but going back to what we’ve got now is going to hurt a lot of people. The republicans, and, least of all, the tea party, are not going to get anywhere by increasingly emphasizing mean, nasty, bigoted attacks on everyone except white men and old white women. Frankly, this looks like another episode of re-arranging the chairs on the decks of the Titanic. Once they get the words “cooperation” and “work together” into their vocabulary, instead of making them 4-letter words, they may stand some chance, but until then it’s down s_it creek without a paddle.

  • RichFromShowMe

    21 Democrats are up for election in 2014 and 10 in 2016.

    Dems have proven for decades they will do anything to get elected or re-elected (same as all RINO’s and most other Republicans).

    This group will be looking over their shoulder . . . do they fear the Regime and Prince Harry more than they fear having to get a real job?


  • ThatDogDontHunt

    I read it and don’t understand because the commentor does not outline the procedures he/she is talking about. Robert, beleow is correct. Force the dems who are up for election to vote to fund the ACA. Then we will see if they are standing with the public or politics…..

  • ThatDogDontHunt

    I thought I read that Lindsey Graham had changed his mind. I’ve been trying to call his office but keep getting a busy signal…..guess he doesn’t want to talk about it or commit one way or another.

  • del

    The rinos in the senate have been bought off by old soros and ovomit! They all need to go and get a real job far away from government!

  • pduffy

    PLEASE, LORD, SHUT IT DOWN! Before it destroys all of us! This government is a giant LEACH on our society and needs to be plucked from the host before it kills it. What will happen when it’s shutdown? The sun will come up tomorrow. We will all still be alive and well, and the earth will still be here, and we will learn that we DO NOT NEED this government. That’s what the democrats fear the most. When the people finally wake up and realize that we DO NOT NEED them to live, they will lose their power stranglehold that they have on this nation.

  • Mark

    Says the old white man.

  • marylou

    The Senators like their jobs….they are desperate to keep feeding at the trough.

    Let them know they will be in the unemployment line unless they vote to defund.

    Simple…they’ll do what their constituents want…let them know…they will DEFUND!

  • Folks, I am so sorry but you don’t have cloture unless a cloture motion is filed. Before the cloture vote, it is always in order to move to table. Motions to table are immediate votes–they are not debatable. Pls look at what happened with cut/cap and balance in July of 2011. Sen. Reid tabled the bill immediately. It is an automatic vote and takes on 51 votes. I wish all that the TP groups were saying were true, but they are not. I am trying to make sure a whole bunch of people aren’t further disappointed and disenfranchised.

  • I am happy to outline the procedure. It is identical to what the Majority Leader did in July of 2011 to cut/cap and balance.
    Mr. President, I move to proceed to H. J. Res. 59. This is the Continuing resolution
    Mr President, I move to table the motion to proceed and ask for the “yeas and nays”
    The Chair: the motion is not debatable, there is an sufficient second, and the clerk will call the roll.
    (this vote is a simple majority vote. If it is tabled the bill is dead.)
    I hope this is helpful.

  • Robert J. Romano

    I’m well aware of what happened on Cut, Cap, and Balance. A motion to table, yes, requires just a simple majority vote but that is hardly the end of the story. Should Reid go that route, he still faces a government shutdown, and will have done nothing to avoid one.

  • Gents, take a peek at this short video I did on the ObamaCare defund vote. I hope it is helpful.

  • I have done a quick video on the defund ObamaCare vote. I hope it is helpful.

  • vangup

    Plain and simple Republicans: Defund Obamacare

  • Ted

    You have to remember that Obamacare is just an insurance
    policy. A policy with thousands of blank pages that was signed without the pages filled in. The pages have now been filled in and new pages (regulations) are being added. Now we can see that the small amount of new benefits cannot compare to the devastation
    we are witnessing regarding our healthcare and the economy. So 50% or more Americans will lose their healthcare in order to provide government healthcare to less than 5%. There’s something wrong with this picture. In addition, thousands are already losing their jobs because of Obamacare. The bill needs to be repealed but the politicians need to do it in a way that does not alienate the voters.

  • Johnq

    aaaand… even IF defunding Obamacare was allowed to proceed Obama would veto it and the republicans don’t have the votes to override,

    Cruz is an idiot for pretending this can be done.

    Elizabeth is correct.

  • johnq

    No amendment. It will be stripped before it comes up for a vote.

  • Ted

    You have to remember that Obamacare is just an insurance
    policy. A policy with thousands of blank pages that was signed without the pages filled in. The pages have now been filled in and new pages (regulations) are being added. Now we can see that the small amount of new benefits cannot compare to the devastation we are witnessing regarding our healthcare and the economy. So 50% or more Americans will lose their healthcare in order to provide government healthcare to less than 5%. There’s something wrong with this picture. In addition, thousands are already losing their jobs because of Obamacare. The bill needs to be repealed but the politicians need to do it in a way that does not alienate the voters.

  • davet

    any vote taken that results in obamacare being funded means that those that support that vote favor funding obamacare and they own it. If the rinos vote for cloture that allow Harry to remove the language to defund obamacare they support obamacare. Obamacare is evil, and immoral.

  • davet

    You are one evil immoral rino.

  • davet

    another evil immoral rino

  • jwatersphd

    I don’t think people need an insurance policy. Most of us at some time in our life are going to need healthcare and insurance is for things you hope you’ll never need. No one would sell an insurance policy unless they believed you weren’t going to need it. They’re betting you won’t. What we need is a way to have health care for people so that the country is healthy, thus more productive, and people aren’t constantly on edge as to whether they’ll be “insurable” or only insurable at an outrageous rate ($27,000 the last year I was “insured”). We’ve already got a system based on insurance, for people under 65, and it’s a wreck. We’ve got one not based on insurance for those over 65 – Medicare – and it works pretty well. Seems simple – Medicare for everyone. It works in every other advanced country. Do you have a better idea?

  • Russ

    I have already call my two Florida Senators to defund Obama Care. Bill Nelson phones sure were busy, took a long time to get through.

  • davet

    Tell me what law that cannot be just signed away with an executive order that will keep Obama from running for a 3rd term. If you don’t enforce the constitution at the state level, there is absolutely nothing keeping the federal government from interpreting the constitution any way it wants to. Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional as there is nothing in the constitution that gives the federal government any of the authorities to do what this bill does.

  • davet

    Here is my solution to healthcare problem. Repeal all taxes, laws, regulations and executive orders dealing with healthcare as healthcare is not one of the rights granted in the constitution to regulate. The states can regulate healthcare, we don’t need any one size fits all law.
    If you support obamacare you are evil and immoral.

  • davet

    you are one evil immoral rino. if obamacare fails, which it will, the dems will propose yet another bill to add more government to fix obamacare

  • davet

    Here is my solution to healthcare problem. Repeal all taxes, laws, regulations and executive orders dealing with healthcare as healthcare is not one of the rights granted in the constitution to regulate. The states can regulate healthcare, we don’t need any one size fits all law.
    If you support obamacare you are evil and immoral.

  • Johnq

    Excuse me! Evil immoral Democrat to you!

    I stopped voting republican after the first Bush term.

    Now a Democrat. The way republicans have been acting it may be many many years before I ever even consider voting for a republican again.

  • Darrell Cox

    Ted, I’m wondering how “smart” YOU are, you still see some difference between repubs and dems. Both parties are guilty of not doing what they promise, both parties are very out of touch with the average american, both parties are like elite talking to their peasants. You seem to be a republican so I will remind you if your partys dreams had come true awhile back John Mcrazy Mcain would have been your president. I suggest you spend your energy working to grow a third party because the two we have now are one in the same. I predict come 2016 you will have some rino karl rove clone or hillary to chose from because the repubs will have shutdown every conservitive candidate and the end result will be hillary is president. Resign yourself to that and work toward having a third party by the time hillary comes up for a second term.

  • jwatersphd

    Very Christian of you . . . what else is evil? Presumably, nothing that you’re involved in; I’m sure you’ve got God on your side.

  • 1josephg1

    When our God says barry is done than barry will be done. However, with our willingness to put queers on the same level as God ordained marriage between a MAN and a Women. In addition, our willingness to let barry care become law that funds murder with federal tax money is unconscionable. With that being said if God finds enough righteous among us then we will prevail. There are many powerful and evil forces against the Untied States. Pray that God continues to be merciful and long suffering with us. By the way, a call to your senator to defund barry care would help. Promise that we will watch how they vote. Promise that if they do not vote to defund barry care they will be unemployed after the next election.

  • Doris C

    This is a bad law and everybody knows it. For the repubs not to do all in their power to rid us of it is criminal. MoConnell ought to be thrown out with Boehner,Eric C and McCain, Graham Ayotte (who must have a crush on mccain. Get rid of these people.Put Palin in McCains place and fill in the other seats with any conservative to be found. Use anyone just like the dems do,.

  • Ted

    Darrell, considering your remarks, I guess I’m smarter than
    you although that doesn’t say much. Anyone who thinks voting for a third party president is a good idea is an idiot. It will only guarantee that a democrat wins the election (try to remember George H. W. Bush). If you are a conservative then find a conservative republican that can win the election and vote for him.

  • Carol

    If Reid believes nothing that doesn’t pass his way of wanting things he can ignore, than he needs for the Republicans to stand up and force that ALL bills be voted on…..Reid has declared himself a dictator and he must be told WE are a land of the free and that ALL men are created equal. All those in favor of defunding &/or repealing healthcare need to stand up and say so. It’s time that lawmakers take a stand and represent ‘We The People”. Force Reid to have a vote on Americas voice. They must take to the microphones in and out of chambers and demand to be heard, repeatedly. Say it as often as BO & Reid have made their demands. We need to reverse to reverse the tables….and change this unjust way of being under the thumb of his dictatorship.
    Go Republicans Go!

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