ObamaCare repeal tops House GOP agenda

House Republicans will start February off with a defiant vote to repeal ObamaCare, a symbolic move that allows new members to solidify their opposition to the healthcare law.

"We will begin the month renewing our commitment to individual freedom and opportunity," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote in a memo to the party Thursday.


The party’s first vote in February will be a bill from Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), which would repeal ObamaCare in full and give House committees the power to replace the law with their own legislation.

It will mark nearly the 60th time that the House has voted to repeal ObamaCare, but Byrne believes his bill will be different.

To start, it will be the first ObamaCare repeal bill that actually stands a chance of passing the Senate, according to Byrne’s spokesman Seth Morrow.

Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell warns Democrats not to change filibuster rule Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Trump wants executive order on policing; silent on pending bills MORE can no longer stand in the way,” Morrow said Thursday.

The bill also includes a unique provision allowing congressional Republicans to draft a replacement plan in open committee, rather than pushing through a bill approved only by a handful of party leaders.

“We need to have some sort of idea on an alternative solution. This is a way to have that without picking one without the input of all members,” Morrow said. “This gives all members the chance to weigh in on a way to move forward.”

The House leaders’ decision to take a vote on full repeal is an offering to the party’s more conservative members, who have insisted that repeal should be the only option.

As GOP leaders distanced themselves from a full repeal and instead moved toward smaller changes with bipartisan support, conservative lawmakers argued that they were abandoning the base.

Byyne said Wednesday as he introduced his bill that he did not support tweaks to the law, arguing that “no quick legislative fix will make all the problems go away.”

- This post was updated at 4:53 p.m.