An emboldened caucus of Senate Republicans came out in full force in favor of a bill to repeal the new health care law Monday, just hours after Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled the law unconstitutional.
All 47 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors to a repeal measure in the Senate, said South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, chairman of the Senate Steering Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who controls what bills are allowed to reach the Senate floor, has vowed repeatedly that he will not allow a vote on any repeal bill. But there are procedural maneuvers Senate Republicans can take to get it on the floor, including offering it as an amendment to another bill. Republicans began the process last week to use Senate Rule 14, a procedural objection tactic, to put the House bill passed on Jan. 19 to a vote in the upper chamber.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming plan to introduce legislation that provides Americans the opportunity to “opt-out” of the portion of the law mandating that all citizens purchase health insurance plans.
The U.S. Department of Justice plans to challenge the judge’s ruling, and legal observers expect the question of the law’s constitutionality to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.