Republicans took control of the Senate and made gains in the GOP-controlled House on Tuesday. “This is a chance to begin to save this country,” declared probable Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Election Day.
Now it’s time to find out if he means it.
Americans just repudiated the colossal disaster that is Barack Obama. At the center of his failed presidency — Obamacare.
Mitch McConnell knows this. It’s why he campaigned so hard against the Affordable Care Act. In radio and television ads, in speech after speech, McConnell promised to repeal Obamacare. The Republicans hung this monstrosity around Democrats’ necks. It is the primary reason the GOP prevailed Tuesday.
New Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa pledged “immediate action to repeal Obamacare” and ran a campaign ad featuring her firing a pistol at a shooting range with the voiceover, “Once she sets her sites on Obamacare, Joni’s going to unload.”
New Republican Senator Thom Tillis called Obamacare, “a disaster.”
In fact, running against and promising to get rid of Obamacare became the go-to issue for Republican candidates across the country, with over 35,000 pro-repeal television ads aired in October alone.
This Republican majority didn’t just happen accidently. It was a mandate, promised by Republicans and expected by voters.
This new Republican majority is the Repeal Obamacare Majority.
So now, what is Mitch McConnell going to do?
When asked if he would repeal on Fox News Thursday, McConnell told Neil Cavuto, “It would take 60 votes in the Senate. Nobody thinks we’re going to have 60 Republicans. And it would take a president — presidential signature. No one thinks we’re going to get that.”
“the chief justice said it is a tax, and taxes are clearly what we call reconcilable. That’s the kind of measure that can be pursued with 51 votes in the Senate. And if I’m the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of ‘Obama-care’ will be job one.”
Today, Republicans have 52 Senate seats, with elections still being decided in Virginia, Alaska and Louisiana potentially giving the GOP even more. McConnell will most likely be the Senate Majority Leader.
Over the last few years, there has been frequent criticism of the GOP leadership operation, be it McConnell or Speaker Boehner, that includes a) the two are rarely on the same page and b) they lack a clear and concise game plan to deal with the attendant political and public policy issues of the day, most notably Obamacare. Case in point: Yesterday Speaker Boehner never mentioned Obamacare in his list of priorities for this new Congress.
Now that conservatives have delivered fresh faces who pledged to rid the country of Obamacare, it is up to these two men to author the plan that will be executed successfully to accomplish that goal. It’s what leaders do.
McConnell’s job number one is now to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority through the process of reconciliation. If and when President Obama vetoes it, it falls on McConnell and Boehner to continue attacking Obamacare through piecemeal legislation.
And lest anyone try to get cute, repealing Obamacare while funding Obamacare is not an option. We’ve seen that movie before. Congress has a Constitutionally-mandated, power-of-the-purse authority to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. If the new GOP majority funds Obamacare, they will own it along with Obama himself.
Renewed campaign promises to dismantle Obamacare brought the GOP historic gains. Failure to follow through on those promises destroys any chances Republicans have of taking the White House in 2016.
Senator Rand Paul reminded the audience of this at McConnell’s victory party Tuesday night, “We should repeal every last vestige of Obamacare.” The crowd went wild.
McConnell boasted in his victory speech, “It’s time to turn this country around. And I will not let you down.”
The repeal Obamacare majority is now in place. They have the numbers to do it.
Do not let us down.