Senate Republicans introduce Obamacare repeal bill — but not all GOPers are on board

South Carolina Republican and conservative firebrand Sen. Jim DeMint introduced legislation to repeal Obamacare on Wednesday, the first official step in bringing the House-passed repeal bill fight into the staid upper chamber.

But a slew of mostly moderate senators declined to support DeMint’s legislation, raising questions on the unity of the Republican caucus.

Even with the full support of Republicans, the measure faces steep odds as Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid still controls the chamber and is expected to face a Democratic filibuster.

“Republicans are standing with the American people who are demanding we repeal this government takeover of health care,” said DeMint in a written statement.

“Repealing ObamaCare is vital to the future of our nation and the health of our people. ObamaCare will raise health costs, reduce choices, ration care, hike taxes, cut jobs, increase the national debt and put bureaucrats between patients and their doctors. It’s time to start over and implement commonsense solutions that allow Americans to choose affordable plans across state lines, end frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs, and gives equitable tax treatment to those who don’t get insurance from their employer,” DeMint said.

Backing him are 34 Republicans including Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Republican Whip Sen. John Kyl of Arizona.

Conspicuously absent from the list of cosponsors are Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has repeatedly dared Reid to bring up Obamacare repeal for a vote.

Jan. 6, Reid said “misguided” House Republicans “have to understand that the health-care bill is not going to be repealed” and that the GOP “should get a new lease on life and talk about something else.”

Ed. note: this article has been updated. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts was not listed as a cosponsor to the bill in a press release sent from DeMint’s office. But a spokesman sends word Sen. Brown is indeed backing the bill. Similarly, a spokeswoman for Sen. Michael Enzi sent word that he is a cosponsor.

  • Two Elks

    ANY Republican who caves on CommieCare can consider themselves out of a job the next election ! You were voted in to respect the wishes of the voters, if you refuse to do this your OUT ! Since we have been screwed by BOTH politicial parties so many times, mess up once more and watch the carefully chosen Tea Party candidates win in droves. Our nation is hanging by a thread, we can’t and won’t wait any longer for you to do what you took an oath to do !

    • inspectorudy

      Unfortunately some of them just got re-elected and don’t give a s**t what we say like MurCOWski. Lugar and Hatch are toast anyway and Alexander is such a wimp that I get sick just looking at him. Of course the gorgons from Maine can always be counted on to vote no on anything that might save us a little money and reduce the size of gov. I am not familiar with the others but their constituents will let them hear a new song soon.

  • barryaz

    Time to start with the phone calls, faxes, and letters to get the point across to these politicians; repeal this bill or lose your cushy job in the next election.

  • kbull

    Govt has shown itself to be so inept that it is impossible for me to understand why there are those that want larger government. Putting anything in the hands of the government will insure it will cost 2wice as much as it should. The real question here is simply “Is more and larger government going to fix our problems?” That question has already been answered by history and current events. Societal order is necessary, but too much order… just look at Russian history. Order, yes. Tyranny, no. Look at all the jobs that are going overseas because of “government’s overbearing rules”. Obamacare is one of those rules. Id rather have less government so we can pay our own way instead of depending on China to support us and eventually to own us.

  • Snackrabbit

    I almost cannot believe this. Still January and they are already falling apart and returning to form? Can someone with some bucks PLEASE get the new “Tea Party” going and “ballot ready” so I can jump- ship NOW?

    I can live with losing, I can’t live with not fighting.

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  • johnk144

    Gee, didn’t Scott Brown run on being the “41st vote” to block obamacare?

    And now he won’t even stand up for the repeal? He is just one more “republican” (RINO) that I will enjoy seeing lose his seat.

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  • ojfl

    Let us give these Republicans the benefit of the doubt until this comes up to a vote. Then it is either put up or face the consequences of going against their voters and not supporting the repeal of the bill. From what we have seen so far the pressure on them has not subsided and it seems it will not subside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Sullivan/512796525 Bill Sullivan

    good-bye to those who do not vote to repeal, we will remember

  • didacticrogue

    • Lamar Alexander
    • Scott Brown
    • Thad Cochran
    • Susan Collins
    • Michael Enzi
    • Chuck Grassley
    • John Hoeven
    • Mark Kirkz
    • Richard Lugar
    • Lisa Murkowski
    • Jeff Sessions
    • Olympia Snowe

    Are the good people of Tennessee, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Maine, Wyoming, Iowa, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Alaska, and Alabama paying attention?

    • glassmaker

      Why do they have to be a “co-sponsor”?