By Jason Millman - 02/02/11 06:19 PM EST
When the Senate votes on repeal of the healthcare reform law Wednesday evening, it’s possible that some Democrats may vote with Republicans to undo President Obama's signature achievement, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Schumer said an “overwhelming majority” of Democrats will oppose repealing the reform law, but he left open the possibility that some members of his party will vote for repeal.
Democrats will bring up the vote after 5 p.m. Wednesday as a budget point of order, meaning that Republicans would need 60 votes to approve the repeal measure. With 47 Republicans in the Senate, the bill will undoubtedly fall short of the required margin for passage.
But if several Democrats do vote for repeal, it could show cracks in the party's united defense of the reform law. With almost two dozen Democratic senators up for reelection in 2012, votes on healthcare reform over the next two years could play a major role in their campaigns.
However, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), a pair of centrist Democrats with tough reelection battles ahead, have already come out against repeal.
“I want to be clear. I continue to support the health reform law because it is the right thing to do for Nebraska,” Nelson said. “There are a lot of good parts in the bill and some that I will work to improve.”