Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this evening rejected a plan offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to set up a vote on repealing the 2010 health care law before the end of September.
“Our Republican friends are hopelessly stuck in the past,” Reid said before objecting to a GOP unanimous consent request. “They continue to want to fight battles that are already over.”
Reid noted that the Supreme Court deemed the law constitutional last month, after it was challenged by several Republican attorneys general.
He also said that the Senate has already defeated a similar amendment as part of the debate on reauthorizing federal aviation programs. The Senate also rejected in March a GOP proposal to repeal a provision in the health care law that requires insurance companies to provide and pay for contraception services.
“We need to move on,” Reid said, adding that creating jobs should be the Senate’s No. 1 priority.
His comments come as Republicans sought to offer a health care law repeal amendment to a cybersecurity bill, which stalled in the Senate today after failing to clear a procedural vote, in part over disagreement regarding what amendments could be offered.
McConnell argued that if Democrats support the law, they should want to vote on it.
“What are they afraid of?” McConnell said. “Why won’t they allow a vote?”
“I can’t think of any reason why Senators would not want to stand up and be counted with a vote on the floor either for or against repeal,” McConnell continued.
“It’s clear in my view that the Democrat health care law is making things worse and should be repealed in full. A week doesn’t seem to pass that we don’t learn about some problem this law creates or doesn’t solve,” McConnell said.
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.