Senate likely to strip language to defund ObamaCare

A procedural strategy being looked at by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would strike the language to defund ObamaCare out of the Continuing Resolution (CR), according to a report from The Hill:

Reid’s first move would be to schedule a vote to end debate on proceeding to the House continuing resolution. This would require 60 votes. Republican senators would vote to proceed to the bill because it would including the language to defund ObamaCare.

Then he would fill the amendment tree, defining what amendments could be considered in relation to the House legislation.

Reid would be sure that one of the pending amendments is a so-called “amendment to strike,” which would allow him schedule a future vote on stripping the language defunding ObamaCare and prioritizing debt payments.

Then Reid would schedule a vote to end debate on the House continuing resolution and proceed to final passage. This vote also requires 60 votes.
After this second cloture vote has passed, the pending amendments can be approved with a simple majority vote. At this point, Reid could strike the language defunding ObamaCare and prioritizing debt payments without having to rely on Republican votes. He could strike the language with Democratic votes alone.

Now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has threatened a filibuster of a CR that funds ObamaCare, which would almost certainly have to be a talking filibuster similar to the one led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) back in March. This would only stall passage of the bill for so long and there are several Republicans who will likely vote to end debate because they’re nervous about the threat of a government shutdown.

Cruz has also said that House Republicans must continue to press for a spending measure that defunds ObamaCare should the Senate reject the Continuing Resolution that will be passed today. That’s probably not going to happen. The House will likely get the CR, absent language that defunds ObamaCare, and will most likely pass it.

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