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McConnell: Full health repeal ‘probably’ won’t happen with Obama

Repealing the entire healthcare bill “probably” will not happen with President Barack Obama in the White House, the Senate’s top Republican said Friday.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said at a speaking engagement that a full repeal may be unlikely, but that the GOP could be able to repeal parts of it in the fall, even if they don’t win back majorities in both houses.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported:

He acknowledged there is “probably not” a chance of repealing the full measure while President Barack Obama is in office.

Speaking to a Louisville audience, McConnell said he is hopeful for GOP gains in the fall election, based partly on recent poll results.

“Will that make full repeal possible? It might not,” McConnell said at a forum sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce.

“But this (legislation) is very complex, it’s got a lot of moving parts, many of them have not yet kicked in, won’t kick in for several years. And so the goal would be to repeal it and replace it with something more modest directed at the cost problem, which is what I think most of this whole debate was about in the beginning.”

In an interview after his speech, McConnell said it might not be necessary for the GOP to gain a majority to repeal some provisions of the reform law. “There may be a number of Democrats that begin to have second thoughts,” he said.

Supporting the repeal effort has been a conservative
rallying cry since the healthcare law was enacted, and those who have
backed away from the message have been criticized.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) revised comments he made that repeal is “not going to happen,” saying that is not going to happen in this election cycle. That puts Corker within the timeframe McConnell outlined Friday.

McConnell has touted
a “repeal and replace” strategy since healthcare reform became law just over 10 days ago. Under the plan, opponents would get rid of the law supported by only Democrats and would replace it
with new reform legislation. 

The top Senate Republican’s comments Friday are similar to ones made Thursday by Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) the chamber’s third-ranking GOP member.

President
Barack Obama has publicly dared GOPers to try the strategy, saying
“bring it on” at a speaking appearance this week. 

For the GOP to repeal the bill this cycle, Congress would have to pass a repeal measure and then thwart a
presidential veto with two-thirds majorities in
both houses.

Sen. John McCain
(R-Ariz.) said Thursday that Republicans are considering ways to work
around a presidential veto
. His plan would still be subject
to a veto, though a politically tougher one for Obama to enact.

Tags Barack Obama Bob Corker John McCain Lamar Alexander Mitch McConnell
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