Buoyed by Monday's federal court decision striking down President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Senate Republicans are proposing an amendment to the FAA bill to repeal the 1099 provision of the law and could move by week's end to force a repeal vote of the entire statute.
Republican Senate aides confirmed Tuesday morning that the Minority Conference has filed the 1099 repeal amendment to the FAA bill. The proposal, authored by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), had 15 Democratic co-sponsors as of last Thursday and should have enough support to overcome any attempt to filibuster it.
Floor consideration of the FAA bill is due to begin Tuesday afternoon.
GOP aides also confirmed that Senate Republicans would likely discuss their next steps on health care during Tuesday's weekly caucus lunch. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was already planning to force a vote on the House-passed health care overhaul repeal bill, and Monday's court decision should only serve to bolster his intentions.
"A vote could come this week," a senior Republican Senate aide said.
McConnell used his opening floor remarks on Tuesday to discuss Monday's decision by Florida District Court Judge Roger Vinson to rule the mandate to purchase health insurance unconstitutional and throw out the law in full.
"When two federal courts in a row rule that this bill is unconstitutional and we learn every day of some other way it's not only making health care worse but also hurting jobs and the economy," McConnell said. "Congress must repeal [this bill] immediately."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attempted to downplay Monday's court ruling, countering during his opening remarks that "this bill has already saved lives and saved lots of money."
"As more parts of the law go into effect, it will do even more good," Reid added. "The health reform bill is about jobs."
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.