McConnell Moves to Put Repeal Bill on Senate Calendar

Posted January 25, 2011 at 7:18pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor late Tuesday to begin the process of putting a House-passed health care repeal bill on the legislative calendar.

According to Senate rules, the Kentucky Republican has set in motion a process that could allow consideration of the repeal bill as early as Thursday, although Democrats could cause a delay. Once the bill is officially under consideration, 60 votes would be required to move to an up-or-down vote on the legislation itself.

McConnell has vowed to force a vote on the repeal bill in the Senate, despite the lack of Democratic support needed to send the legislation to President Barack Obama, who would veto it in any event. The Minority Leader on Tuesday reiterated his intent to force the vote, although he declined to discuss strategy or timing.

“Look, the Senate is the Senate. And all I’ve said is we’ll be voting on the health care repeal. You all know that I’m typically not inclined to discuss with you the way in which these things come about. But in the Senate it’s difficult to deny a vote,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “And let me just ask this: Why would our friends on the other side not want to have this vote? Only three Democrats in the House have voted to repeal it — only three. I believe they’re proud of it.”