Well, House Republicans got dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing on ObamaCare. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to step up. Kay Hagan — affectionately know in many quarters of our state as Chuck Schumer’s sock puppet™ — strongly supported ObamaCare’s passage in 2009 and continues to speak lovingly of it.
The Tar Heel State’s senior senator, sometimes-Republican Richard Burr, continues to thumb his nose at his constituents in regard to defunding ObamaCare.
Burr’s mouthing-off has even aided and abetted Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama has he travels around the country defending his pet monster.
Conservatives on the Senate side of the Hill see their plan of attack focusing mostly on the filibuster:
Conservative Senate Republicans say they are prepared to filibuster the House-passed bill to fund the government if that’s what it takes to stop ObamaCare.
Most Republican senators support the House bill, but if they vote to end debate on the legislation, it could let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) restore funding for the Affordable Care Act with 51 votes.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), one of the leaders of the effort to defund ObamaCare, said Friday that Senate Republicans should block Reid from using “procedural gimmicks” to carve up the House bill.
“If Reid pursues this plan — if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund ObamaCare with a partisan vote of only Democrats — then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add ObamaCare funding back in,” Cruz said in a statement.
Sen. Mike Lee, a conservative Republican from Utah, says Republicans should not let the House bill proceed to a final vote if Reid schedules an amendment to strike the House-crafted language defunding ObamaCare.
“If we know what Sen. Reid’s strategy is, and we know that he’s going to force the vote on the amendment post cloture, I think anyone can see that the strategy is on our part,” said Brian Phillips, a spokesman for Lee. “If we want to prevent him from stripping out the defund language, the strategy on our part would be to block cloture to end debate.”
Other conservatives have joined the call for Senate Republicans to filibuster the House bill defunding the Affordable Care Act.
“If 41 Republicans stand strong and oppose cloture, they can defeat Reid’s plan to fund ObamaCare,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “However, if Republicans waffle and vote for cloture, it will grease the skids for Reid’s plan to fund ObamaCare.”
One big question heading into next week is whether Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will use all the procedural tactics available to prevent Reid from setting up an amendment to strip the House language on ObamaCare.
McConnell did not release a statement on the House bill, but a spokesman said “he supports the House effort.”
Hoskins on Friday criticized McConnell for not pledging to protect the House bill from changes in the Senate.
“This is an embarrassing lack of leadership,” he said. “Where’s the leadership? At least he could pretend to support conservative principles.”
The Senate Conservatives Fund recently spent $340,000 on a television ad in Kentucky criticizing McConnell for not explicitly endorsing a plan to threaten a government shutdown unless the Affordable Care Act loses funding.
Senators and aides say Reid’s most likely path is to bring the House legislation to the Senate floor and hold two votes to end debate on the measure, setting up final passage.
Reid is expected to arrange the votes in a way that allows the bill to clear two 60-vote hurdles while the legislation still includes legislation to defund ObamaCare.
Under this scenario, Reid would lay the groundwork for stripping the ObamaCare language before the Senate votes to end debate on the underlying bill.
Once Republicans vote to end debate, the Senate could then consider an amendment to remove the ObamaCare language. This amendment would only need 51 votes to pass. Final passage would also need a mere simple majority.
Senators coalesced around this plan Thursday because it would allow Reid to avoid a government shutdown without overtly relying on Republican votes to remove the provision to defund ObamaCare.
So, it sounds like our strategy from this point is to focus on holding Richard Burr and Lindsey Graham’s feet to the fire to vote NO on cloture. (No need to worry about SC’s Tim Scott.)
This is a great opportunity to hold Senator Sock Puppet’s feet to the fire. If she stands with Reid and aids the funding of ObamaCare, she creates a great big tool for the GOP to bludgeon her with in 2014. Time to get on the phone, folks: Burr (202) 224-3154, Graham (202) 224-5972, Hagan (202) 224-6342.