Save the date! Via Bill Kristol:
I’m told the Speaker’s office is about to announce that the House Rules Committee will meet on Thursday, and that a rule to consider the repeal of Obamacare will be brought to the House floor on Friday. The House will then vote on the repeal of Obamacare on Wednesday, January 12. In order to comply with the new transparency rules, the repeal legislation will be posted tonight, available here.
Fred Upton told “Fox News Sunday” yesterday that he thinks they’ve got a shot at passing it with two-thirds of the House voting yes, which in turn will put pressure on Reid and the Senate “to do perhaps the same thing.” Which tells me that Fred Upton currently inhabits the same alternate reality in which Jon Huntsman is a viable Republican nominee. The partisan split in the House is 242/193 for the GOP; they’d need to draw 48 Democrats to reach two-thirds of the chamber, which is actually 14 more than the number they were able to attract on the original ObamaCare vote last March when the Blue Dog caucus was bigger and anti-O-Care sentiment was at fever pitch. The only suspenseful aspect of this vote is seeing how many of the surviving Blue Dogs who voted no the first time around will stick with their caucus this time in opposing repeal. I figure most will: They probably reason that, having survived the bloodletting last fall, they’re safe enough that they can get away with opposing repeal now, especially since the House bill has no chance of becoming law. If anything, they may have more to fear from the left at the moment, which will be looking to punish acts of betrayal this early in the session.
Via RCP, here’s Chuck Todd complaining about the GOP “looking backwards” by tackling ObamaCare so soon. I’d agree that this is a case of poor prioritizing if Republicans planned on spending, oh, say, nine months on it in lieu of economic legislation, but since it’ll take a day and make the base happy, what’s the harm? Frankly, given the outrageous outrage to come when the GOP has to bite the bullet and raise the debt ceiling, they should bank as much cred with the grassroots as they can right now. Exit question for parliamentarians: Does Reid have to bring this to the floor in the Senate if it passes the House? Sure sounds like he wants to bury it if he can.
Update: Ace’s co-blogger DrewM suggests on Twitter that the GOP attach their O-Care repeal bill to the bill authorizing the raising of the debt ceiling. Hmmmmmmm.