The latest version of the GOP’s health care bill limped before Congress last night only to be voted down by multiple Republicans, including Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain. President Trump expressed his disappointment, not only in the three senators who killed the so-called “skinny” reform but in the process itself. Throughout his struggle to repeal Obamacare, Trump has railed against rules that require a 3/5 majority to open up legislation for a vote, rather than a simpler 51 majority that presents a lower threshold for the Republican majority.
Since 1975, the best way to avoid a filibuster by either party has been Senate Rule 22, which requires something called “a cloture motion” to end debate on a bill and advance to the stage of the proceedings when everyone votes yay or nay. You might remember back in April when there was a lot of discussion around a so-called “nuclear option” that allowed an exception to the 3/5 rule only in regards to the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But that nuclear option didn’t apply to legislation, a fact the President bitterly resents even as he acknowledges it would have taken more than a change to congressional procedure to push the “skinny” bill through.
“If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60,” the President tweeted. “Even though parts of healthcare could pass at 51, some really good things need 60. So many great future bills & budgets need 60 votes.”
That’s a close echo of what he said earlier this month after another setback on healthcare. Trump accused eight Democrats of obstructing the bill even though a number of the House majority of 52 Republicans weren’t having the legislation, either. That’s not quite how the math works, but this isn’t the first time the President has tripped up on the numbers side of health care.
Indeed, the reason why Trump’s repeal and replace plan, and various other drafts of anti-ACA legislation, haven’t succeeded is because Republicans can’t agree on what a new healthcare model should look like. Trump clearly knows this, as he’s taken to ranting, threatening Congress and maligning individual Republicans, especially Lisa Murkowski. But so far, his administration and Congress have yet to come up with a workable solution to their campaign promise to dismantle an increasingly popular policy that the public overwhelmingly supports, largely because millions of people don’t want to lose their healthcare coverage.
(Via: The Hill)