Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will fight efforts to move a House-passed repeal of the health care overhaul law to the Senate floor, but he acknowledged Thursday that Republicans have the ability to try to do so.
“I’m not going to be part of moving a bill to the floor that really whacks senior citizens,” he said, noting that the law closes the “doughnut hole” for prescription drug costs under Medicare and provides a free annual wellness screening to Medicare beneficiaries. Reid said the repeal would add to the deficit and allow health insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
“I know the procedures of the Senate,” Reid said, in what appeared to be an acknowledgement that Republicans could try to force a vote on the floor. “But I’m not going to be a part of it.”
Separately, Reid said he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are working on a funding resolution for committees. “At some subsequent time, there could be an across-the-board cut,” he said.
In the meantime, Reid said a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill and a small-business innovation bill are likely to come to the floor next.
“We still recognize that the No. 1 issue is jobs,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get this show on the road tonight.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.