House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agree that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority under the incoming Trump administration, but appear not to be in full agreement on how to do so.
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday suggested Congress would seek to use a budget tool known as reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act under the incoming Trump administration.
But at a Capitol Hill press conference later in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not commit to using the process to repeal the law. With only a slim majority in the Senate, it’s unclear how else the conference would advance such a measure, since Democrats would likely not support a bill repealing President Obama’s signature domestic policy.
Congress advanced an Obamacare repeal bill to the White House for the first time last year using the reconciliation process, though Obama vetoed the measure.
“This Congress, this House majority, this Senate majority has already demonstrated and proven that we’re able to pass that legislation and put it on the President’s desk,” Ryan said at a news conference in Wisconsin. “The problem is President Obama vetoed it. Now we have President Trump coming who is asking us to do this. ”
Repealing the law was a major Republican talking point throughout the final weeks of the campaign, especially. But congressional Republicans have said for months that Republicans could repeal the law if they win the White House by using the tool which will allow them to overcome a Senate filibuster and pass the measure by a simple majority.
McConnell said he would be “shocked if we didn’t move forward to keep our commitment to the American people.”
“It’s a pretty high item on our agenda, as you know,” he said.