Everything is Stupid

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

What's going on with today's leg of the Obamacare-repeal marathon?

The short answer is no one knows.

Republican senators don't know. Republican representatives don't know. And reporters on the hill are scrambling to find someone who knows something about anything.

As far as we do know, Senate Republicans still intend to vote for the so-called "skinny repeal" bill that repeals the individual mandate, the employer mandate, and the medical device tax included in Obamacare, but they may not have enough votes to pass "skinny repeal."

The problem is they plan to vote for "skinny repeal," but they don't want it to become law. They want assurances that the House will not simply take up their skinny repeal bill and pass it.

In a word, this is a shitshow.

They could pass "skinny repeal" tonight. They might not. They may not even have 50 votes for it. As of this writing (about 4 p.m. eastern) we don't know.

If they do pass it, the House could also pass it as early as tomorrow. The House could also go to conference and try to negotiate a new bill between both chambers, but that would require Speaker Paul Ryan to cancel the House recess that begins this weekend.

He hasn't done that yet.

Ryan has said he would cancel recess if the Senate passes a repeal bill, but does "skinny repeal" fit that criteria? Will he cancel recess for that? Would he rather just pass "skinny repeal" and leave for recess as planned? We don't know.

Senate Republican seem very eager to go to conference with the House to work on a new bill, but I don't see how that will change anything. There's no magic bill waiting in conference. Going to conference with the nutcases in the House is more likely to exacerbate their differences, not reduce them.

The Senate already failed to pass a "repeal and replace" bill (BCRA) and a "repeal and delay" bill.

If they couldn't pass that on their own, how is going to conference with the House going to make it better?

The situation is fluid (read: a disaster) and I actually had to change multiple parts of this story while I was in the middle of writing it.

  • muselet

    Hell of a way to run a country.


  • Nefercat

    It was difficult to read this post. The sound of the calliopes just kept getting louder and louder and was so distracting.

  • Badgerite
    • fry1laurie

      But 95+ percent of Congresscritters are reelected. Most by huge margins. Talk is cheap.

  • Badgerite

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.” They want to pass legislation that hurts their own constituents and that hurts the country and that hurts the health care system, for a whopping tax cut to the 1% to jack up Wall Street profits, but they don’t want anyone to know that that is what they are doing.
    Yeah. That’ll work.

  • Username1016

    Ho. Lee. Cats. Talk about the inmates running the asylum… Are there ANY grownups over there?????

  • ninjaf

    This is the Underpants Gnome strategy.