Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reid May Bypass 60-Vote Threshold to Strip Obamacare Provision from CR

With the government-funding bill headed to the Senate following tomorrow’s House vote, the expectation among Senate Republicans is that Democratic majority leader Harry Reid will be able to strip its provision defunding Obamacare with only a majority vote.

Reid would rely on an arcane Senate procedure called the “motion to strike” that allows him to amend the bill with a bare majority after cloture has been invoked to shut down debate on the bill.

In other words, Reid would invoke cloture with the bill still intact — meaning Republicans, who support defunding Obamacare, would vote for cloture. After cloture had been invoked, Reid could then move remove the language defunding Obamacare with only a bare majority.

The strategy would put Democrats in something of an odd position because they would be voting for cloture on a bill that defunds Obamacare. But given Republicans will vote for cloture, and that it’s according to Reid’s plan, that’s unlikely to be reason enough that the necessary votes wouldn’t be there.

Senator Ted Cruz told reporters earlier today that he and Senator Mike Lee “will use every procedural means available to fight for the American people to defund Obamacare.”

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