House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that Republicans’ three-step plan for repealing Obamacare is not a “myth,” in response to a similar characterization from a top GOP senator.
“I don’t see that being a myth at all,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on Fox News.
“We have to go through … reconciliation. If we wanted to just repeal and try to get 60 votes and wait for the Democrats to get eight of them to come and join us, that bill would look a lot like Obamacare,” he said.
Reconciliation is a budgetary tool that allows certain legislation to get passed with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes it typically takes to break a Senate filibuster. Republicans currently hold an effective 52-48 majority in the Senate.
“This is Obamacare gone. We repeal it and repeal the taxes, and we actually make a system that works and lowers premiums,” Mr. McCarthy said.
Republicans say the reconciliation process constrains what they can do legislatively on the first try. Step two would involve regulatory changes and step three would involve more legislation, and potentially legislation that would face the higher 60-vote threshold.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier Tuesday that the three-step plan was just “political talk” and if Republicans had 60 votes they’d be moving on the longer-term legislation right now.
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