Week ahead: Senate braces for ObamaCare vote-a-rama

Week ahead: Senate braces for ObamaCare vote-a-rama
© Greg Nash

As ObamaCare repeal moves along, the debate is only getting more intense.

The Senate is expected to take a long string of votes on Wednesday, known as a "vote-a-rama," on a budget resolution that is the first step to repealing ObamaCare.

That series of votes gives Democrats an opportunity to offer a series of provisions designed to make things uncomfortable for Republicans and put them on record about popular aspects of ObamaCare.

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While Democrats do not have the votes to stop Republicans from repealing ObamaCare, there are growing concerns among GOP lawmakers about their current strategy to repeal the law without immediately putting forward a replacement.

Lawmakers including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have all expressed concern with the "repeal and delay" approach.

More senators could come forward with their objections next week. Senate Republicans can only lose two votes before the measure would be defeated.

Democrats, meanwhile, are looking for ways to increase pressure on Republican lawmakers to vote against repeal.

Congressional Democratic leaders are organizing rallies across the country against repeal on Jan. 15.

In addition to fighting ObamaCare repeal, the rallies and much of the Democratic messaging is also focused on potential Republican cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare, in particular, is politically popular and an area where Democrats sense a political advantage in defending the program against any possible Republican overhaul.

President Obama ramped up the pressure on Friday for Republicans to put forward a replacement before repealing.

"If they're so convinced they can do it better, they shouldn't be afraid to make that presentation," Obama said in an interview with Vox. "It is really interesting to try to figure out why is it that they're trying to rush the repeal so quick? What is it that they're afraid of?"

 

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