Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday told Republican lawmakers that the House will vote this week on a budget resolution, the chamber’s first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“We’re moving on the budget on Friday, this week,” Rep. Chris Collins told reporters following a closed-door GOP conference meeting. The New York Republican said he was “confident” but “not positive” that it would pass, and he said amendments could be added to the resolution in the House.
Some Republican lawmakers have pushed back against repealing the 2010 health care law without an immediate replacement. Ryan said Tuesday that Republicans have already put forth a replacement plan that could start to come together at the same time as a repeal measure.
“This will unfold as we bring this process together,” Ryan said at a news conference following the conference meeting. “It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently. We’re going to use every tool at our disposal — through legislation, through regulation — to bring replace concurrent along with repeal so that we can save people from this mess.”
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) confirmed that when talking to reporters after today’s conference meeting.
“This week, the House and the Senate are poised to vote on a budget resolution that paves the way for repealing Obamacare,” she said, pointing to the House GOP’s “Better Way” replacement plan. “Repealing Obamacare gives us a clean slate to provide something better.”
The Senate is expected to vote on the budget resolution by Thursday morning, with a “vote-a-rama” beginning Wednesday. Voting on a budget resolution allows senators to offer amendments, which can be used to force senators to go on the record on different, politically sensitive issues that lead to several hours of roll-call votes.
By using reconciliation, the Senate would be able to pass an Obamacare repeal with a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes needed to advance most measures.
If both chambers pass the budget resolution, four committees — House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce; Senate Finance; and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — would begin drafting reconciliation legislation to repeal the law.
Eli Yokley contributed.