Cornyn: Senate vote to repeal health reform could come 'as early as this week'

A Senate vote to repeal healthcare reform could come as early as this week, a senior Republican senator said Tuesday. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote that the Senate could vote on House-passed legislation to do away with President Obama's signature healthcare law. Any such vote would come on the heels of a federal judge's decision on Monday to strike down the whole law as unconstitutional.

Cornyn said on Twitter:

Vote on HC repeal could come as early as this week in the Senate

Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have vowed to force a Senate vote to repeal healthcare reform. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced legislation mirroring the House's repeal bill, which passed through the lower chamber, and by Monday, all GOP senators had signed onto it as a co-sponsor, suggesting a united Republican front for repeal in the Senate.

But although McConnell has certain procedural tactics available to him, Democrats and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appear disinclined to allow a vote on repeal, even if it's likely to fall short of passage. Twenty-three Senate Democrats face reelection in 2012, some of them in conservative or swing states. Forcing them to take a vote for the record on repeal would almost certainly be used against them by the GOP in the 2012 elections.

It's not clear that Monday's court ruling will at all encourage Reid to allow a vote on repeal, though the politics have certainly engrossed the upper chamber. The Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin (Ill.), said he'll chair a hearing this week on healthcare reform's constitutionality.

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