Senate Takes First Step Toward Repealing Obamacare

Date: January 04, 2017

Repealing Burdensome Healthcare Mandate A Top Priority For Congress

 

With the 115th Congress now in session, there is renewed energy in Washington on getting to work to address the burdensome regulatory environment hampering small businesses. Efforts are already underway to address one of the most egregious mandates of the Obama Administration, Obamacare. According to Republican Senate aides, floor votes are expected next week on a “bare-bones budget” resolution targeting Obamacare, Politico reported, calling it congressional Republicans’ “first step” toward repealing the law. While some Republicans had hoped for a vote by the end of the week, “that’s no longer considered feasible” as the Senate will have to “formally organize itself for the 115th Congress” before any votes can occur. After that, there will be “50 hours of debate on the budget” followed by a “‘vote-a-rama,’ in which senators take dozens and dozens of votes on amendments with no clear end,” all of which “will push a vote on adoption of the budget into next week, where Senate Republicans can pass it with a simple majority.” Soon after that, the House is expected to take up the resolution. Reuters reports that the office of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement, “These instructions to committees are provided to facilitate immediate action on repeal, with the intent of sending legislation to the new president’s desk as soon as possible.”

What Happens Next

Any definite timetable for a repeal of Obamacare remains uncertain. In its online “Transition Briefing,” the New York Times says the “simple and vague” language of this budget resolution gives the Senate Finance and the Health Committees, and the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, until Jan. 27 to “complete legislation that reduces the deficit slightly over the next decade,” which would mean they have until that date to come up with legislation that will include a rollback of Obamacare.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses have suffered the brunt of cost increases under Obamacare. This burdensome mandate has been a drain on small business growth, and news that Congress is already working on its repeal is welcome.

Additional Reading

The Los Angeles Times also covers the latest efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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