McConnell: We'll start Obamacare repeal on day one

McConnell: We'll start Obamacare repeal on day one
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) says legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act will be the first order of business in the new Congress.

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McConnell announced the agenda Tuesday, after meeting with Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceIndiana sisters with history of opposing Pence donate millions to Dems Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Overnight Defense: Trump marks 9/11 anniversary | Mattis says Assad 'has been warned' on chemical weapons | US identifies first remains of returned Korean war troops MORE and Senate GOP colleagues over lunch.

"When we come back Jan. 3 we'll be moving to the ObamaCare replacement resolution, the ObamaCare repeal resolution will be the first item up in the New Year," McConnell said, referring to repeal legislation that is expected to pass with a simple majority vote under special budgetary rules. 

The legislation is expected to track closely to similar legislation the GOP-controlled Congress passed at the end of 2015 but which President Obama vetoed. 

There is a dispute between GOP Senate and House conservatives whether the repeal of the law should be phased in over three years — a timeline senators favor — or more quickly than that.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMurkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow MORE (R-Mo.), a member of McConnell's leadership team, said Republicans will consider an array of measures to replace President Obama's signature healthcare law.

"There's also going to be an important discussion about all the alternatives that were there in 2009 and 2010 that the administration and particularly the president constantly said, ‘There were no other ideas.’ There were lots of other ideas. This gives us a chance to revisit those ideas," Blunt said.

One proposal favored by Republicans would be to allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines. Another would give people incentives to create health savings accounts, something GOP policymakers hope may increase competition among providers and lower costs.  

McConnell said Republicans spent Tuesday’s lunch “discussing a variety of different issues with” Pence and said he expects to meet regularly with him next year.  

- Updated at 3:14 p.m.