Rep. King: GOP has votes in Senate for healthcare repeal

Republicans have the votes in the Senate to repeal the Democrat’s healthcare legislation, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told The Hill on Wednesday.

"I believe the votes are there in the U.S. Senate to repeal ObamaCare," said King. "We just need to get a vote."

The Senate has said it will not schedule a vote on the repeal bill passed by the House this week. But in the meantime, King said he supports efforts to "shut off all the funding for ObamaCare in our appropriations bills."

King spoke just outside of a House Judiciary Committee hearing that had taken up the issue of medical liability reform. The hearing is one of the first actions on the committee level in the "replace" phase of Republican’s "repeal and replace" strategy for the healthcare overhaul.

Meanwhile, Democrats have complained that Republicans have been vague about the terms and timing of its replacement.

"They want to repeal first then talk about replace," Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who is also a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, told The Hill on Thursday. "You have to ask GOP what they mean by replace. There are no specifics."

Scott produced a copy of H.R. 9 — the resolution instructing committees to being working on crafting new healthcare legislation — from his pocket and indicated that he believes most of the provisions in it are near duplicates of what Democrats already accomplished in their bill last year.

But King reassured Democrats that his caucus will work "diligently" on replacing the legislation with laws that will be far different from what Democrats had formed.

"We are not putting the same thing back in," replied King. "I guarantee you that will not happen and that his [Scott’s] analysis is not spot on."