Cantor to Reid: If you’re so confident ObamaCare repeal will fail in Senate …
posted at 9:30 am on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
It’s been a while for me, so I’m no longer sure of the protocols of dog dares, but this seems like a jump right to a triple. Harry Reid has insisted that any attempt to pass a full repeal of ObamaCare in the House would be doomed in the Senate and therefore a waste of time. In response, Eric Cantor told Reid to put it up for a vote if he feels that confident in the results:
On Tuesday, the Virginia Republican threw a little more fuel on the fire, suggesting Reid (D-Nev.) was afraid to actually bring up the health care repeal vote in the Senate.
“If Harry Reid is so confident that the repeal vote should die in the Senate then he should bring it up for a vote if he’s so confident he’s got the votes,” Cantor said.
Reid’s spokesman says that the Senate won’t vote on repeal because three-quarters of Americans want the law to stay as it is:
“Not only would repeal not pass, but according to a poll by AP over the weekend, three out of four people don’t want it to,” Reid spokesman Jon Summers said. “Why? Because full repeal means raising taxes on small businesses, reopening the Medicare donut hole, and putting insurance companies back in charge of your health care.”
Actually, if that were the case, then Reid would have no trouble scheduling a vote. The Senate would spend hours extolling the virtues of ObamaCare and then hold a vote where the House repeal would get widely opposed. Such a spectacle would cement the spin that the Republican House leadership is radical, out of control, and unrepresentative of the American political consensus.
Reid knows, however, that it’s his Democrats who have alienated the electorate through the passage of ObamaCare — and so does Cantor. In fact, so do a number of Reid’s colleagues in the Senate, 23 of whom have to face voters next year. Some, such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana, had hoped to spend the 112th Session casting enough conservative votes to get their constituents to forget the ObamaCare vote in 2010. The last thing many of them need is to be forced to support it again in this session, even with a cloture vote.
Reid can’t afford to schedule a vote on a repeal, because one might actually pass, not because it would get easily defeated. Barack Obama would then veto it, of course, and there aren’t enough votes to overturn the veto. But Obama’s veto will make Obama look just as out of touch as those Democrats who want to avoid a second showdown at all costs.