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  • How to Repeal Obamacare in the Senate

    17 June 2009 - Washington, DC - Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee begins mark-up consideration on the Kennedy Health Care bill. The bill which may cost over a trillion dollars is being debated by both sides of the Senate committee.

    This week the House will pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. Congressional experts will argue that the Senate won’t pass a full repeal. They are correct to argue that full repeal will not be passed by both the House and Senate in the next few months, but they may be wrong that a full repeal bill will not pass in this Congress within the next two years. If Senators don’t take two procedural steps this week, they will make it virtually impossible to ever get a vote on the House-passed full repeal bill this Congress.

    The House will pass H.R. 2 this week. Once that bill is passed, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration. Once the Senate receives the bill, any Senator can use Rule 14 to object to the second reading of the bill. This procedural objection will “hold at the desk” the House-passed bill and allow the Senate to act on the full repeal measure.

    If the bill is referred to committee, it will never get to the Senate floor. This procedural objection by one or a number of Senators will stop the bill from being referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). If the bill is referred to committee, there is little to no expectation that the committee will pass the bill, let alone have one hearing on the bill.

    Objecting to Rule 14 would hold the bill at the desk of the Senate and would put H.R. 2 on the Senate calendar. This procedure could be done with a letter or call from one Senator to the party leader. This would allow the Senate Majority Leader to commence debate on the matter when he so chooses. It is unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) would move to proceed to the bill, yet there is a procedure that any Senator can use to force a debate.

    Any Senator can use Rule 22 to commence debate on H.R. 2 if they have held the bill at the desk. Rule 22, the filibuster rule, states:

    Notwithstanding the provisions of rule II or rule IV or any other rule of the Senate, at any time a motion signed by sixteen Senators, to bring to a close the debate upon any measure, motion, other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, is presented to the Senate, the Presiding Officer, or clerk at the direction of the Presiding Officer, shall at once state the motion to the Senate, and one hour after the Senate meets on the following calendar day but one, he shall lay the motion before the Senate and direct that the clerk call the roll, and upon the ascertainment that a quorum is present, the Presiding Officer shall, without debate, submit to the Senate by a yea-and-nay vote the question: “Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?”

    And if that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn—except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting—then said measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion of all other business until disposed of.

    If any Senator can gather 16 signatures on a cloture petition, then they could file that petition with the clerk of the Senate. This would commence a proceeding that would end with a vote requiring 60 votes to shut off debate on a motion to proceed to a full repeal of Obamacare within two days of the filing of the petition. It is expected that Senate liberals would use Rule 22 to filibuster a full repeal of Obamacare. This would put many Senate Democrats in the interesting situation of voicing support for so-called “filibuster reform” while at the same time using the filibuster rule to block an up or down vote on Obamacare.

    Once a bill is held at the desk, they can gather 16 signatures, then wait until the appropriate time to file cloture. They could do so next week or next year. If the courts continue to declare parts of Obamacare unconstitutional and the American people continue to despise this law, then the probability of full repeal may go up over time. At a minimum, Senators have the power to force a vote on full repeal of Obamacare if they have the will to do so.

    If the supporters of a full repeal of Obamacare don’t use the Senate’s rules to force a vote on full repeal, don’t take them seriously when they say they are really want to repeal President Obama’s de facto government takeover of health care.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to How to Repeal Obamacare in the Senate

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      "If the supporters of a full repeal of Obamacare don’t use the Senate’s rules to force a vote on full repeal, don’t take them seriously when they say they are really want to repeal President Obama’s de facto government takeover of health care."

      This is a great education piece. We need to get the Democrats and the RINO's on the record in support of Obamacare. This will be all we need in the country class to vote out the ruling class. The days of having a cushy congress seat with all its privileges on the taxpayer's back are over. These people need to work and work hard. On the other hand, they will be voted out. Your article gives us needed info to get our congress people to work. As you said in the above quote, if they do not advocate for the American People and get rid of this legislation, their inaction will equal support – as if they fought for Obamacare themselves.

      Either they need to act on repeal, or they will go.

    2. Bobbie says:

      WHOEVER stands to support this threat to America is part of Obama's regime or DEAF! We the people do not want this deceivingly called "affordable health care act" proposed by the president! We want NOTHING UNCONSTITUTIONAL proposed by the president and federal democrats.

    3. Kevin H, college par says:

      Good luck with that. For months upon months, the Heritage Foundation and Republican caucus was screaming about how we need to spend time on jobs and the economy – and now all the Republicans are doign is wasting time by trying to add hundreds of billions to the deficit instead of working on jobs adn the economy.

      And if you look back to yoru older posts about wanting to repeal health reform because of polls. Take a look at all the news polls – more and more Americans are against the GOP push to repeal it.

      It's over for you repealers. No chance it gets repealed and now than mroe people are benefitting from the reforms, less will want it repealed. The more people see that all the scare tactics used were just lies – the more Americans like the reform law.

      What a horrible losing battle the Republcians and tea partiers have put themselves in. They are doing exactly what they said they would not. Basically, they are doing all they can to help Democrats in 2012. Terrible GOP leadership.

    4. Jax Tico Jacksonvill says:

      I sure hope enough republicans understand the senate rules this well. This is a plan that has legs and can work to force the socialists to show us their hand, again. As my wife and I have been saying, "make them expose themselves every chance you get and we will not be disappointed." They can't control themselves. They will demonstrate their allegiance to socialism rather than to a free and prosperous American people everytime.

    5. ChrisNJ, Wausau WI says:

      Very interesting. The practical and legitimate tools available for legislators to use (when they've a mind to) is an illuminating insight. I agree fully that the failure to use every and all legitimate means available to them to pursue both a full repeal of Obamacare AND an agressive reining-in and rolling-back of federal expansion, over-reaching, and out-of-control spending, is a strong indicator that perhaps those in whom we have placed our faith and trust are perhaps all talk, fair-weather principles, and no action.

    6. Pingback: Repealing ObamaCare in the Senate

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    10. Bobbie says:

      Repeal the "affordable health care act!" Obama stated it's a step forward. What he neglected to state is it's a step forward to government dependency.

      It is a step backward FROM FREEDOM!

      We want to move FORWARD IN FREEDOM! Republicans please remain strong! We'll see which democrats are for the freedom of the people and not in it for the government Obama take-over.

    11. Stephen B says:

      For Kevin H, college park:

      A bit of education for you:

      MUST SEE VIDEO – Rep. Paul Ryan (new chairman of the House Budget Committee) deconstructs ObamaCare on the House floor

    12. Daniel Davies, Philo says:

      Great article, thanks! Have you and the folks at Heritage been able to get any Senators to commit to this? I would think DeMint, Lee, Paul, Coburn, etc. would do this…

    13. Linda Stephens Demin says:

      This obama cra_ is way out of hand we might as well get ready to be put in prision camps,it's going to get worse especially us old seniors……think about our kids,Grandkids,Great Grandkids what they are going to have to go through….I can't believe there are still American's who are deaf,dumb asleep people when it comes to Obama,believe me they are getting something out of going in that direction…it makes me sick,thinking of another state or country to move to,how about you?

    14. Tom Berquist, Pennsy says:

      Brian: I appreciate information and have posted on tea party blog site.


    15. Michael B, Maryland says:

      For Brian, thank you for the valuable information. Thank yooo Heritage for making the information available for everybody, even though I am not a member yet. I will rectify that.

      For Kevin, College Park, since that is where U. of MD. is located, and I am an alumnus, could you be a student there? If so, please don't be a skull full of mush and go to the link supplied by Stephen B.

      Just remember, the brainwashed never wonder.

    16. Pingback: Obamacare’s Repeal Is Directly Linked to the Level of Dedication of GOP Leadership | Freedom Radio Rocks

    17. Nelda Krug, Houston says:


      It seems those who have already benifted are those who are on Medicaid or Medicare already, because my insurance just keeps going up! And I don't see a change in the near future!

    18. Joye Lange,Ohio says:

      I hope the Senate follows the House in voting to repeal the Health Care Bill.. This bill won't help us, it will only make matters worse for our country, The economy is getting worse, and so is the country's debt. Our citizens don't deserve to have this much debt put on us, and if the Health Care Bill isn't repealed, more debt will be put on us. Hopefully the members of Congress will stand together to right a wrong for the American people.

    19. Alexander Sollin says:

      It is time to put the United States back in the hands of responsible law makers. The clowns lost in November now the new have to bailout the old corrupted democrats who tried to send this country into a socialistic state. Oh hell no that will not work. We as Americans are Capitalist and that is the way it will be come hell or high water. No monkeys from the left will get anymore bananas. Freedom is earned and will not be removed by the left because they fail in life to become wealthy.

    20. Pingback: House of Representatives: Down with Obamacare... | The RIGHT Opinions

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    22. velma moore says:

      Who do you turn to when both your senators are of the progressive communist party? If your not in their district no other senator will talk to you. I found that out when the debate was going on. My senators will not even respond to me, but both bingaman and udall know that i'm already campaigning against them. Bingaman is up in 2012 but udall isn't up until 2014.

    23. Pingback: Department of Offense » How to Make the Senate Vote on Full Obamacare Repeal

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    28. Carmen Miller Pasco says:


    29. Pingback: Conservative News from Conservative Bloggers » Blog Archive » Change: House repeals ObamaCare, 245-189

    30. David Taylor Nashvil says:

      Yes we need to repeal the Obama health care robbery. We the people didn't want it but we got it. I am always amazed even including myself when we look to a group of politicians that got us into the mess we are in to get us out of it. The group has an approval rating and we actually think they are going to correct the wrongs they have done. Wow I just proved that the public education in the US is worse than anyone imagined.

      Make no law that you exempt yourselves from!!!!!

    31. Michael R. Huddlesto says:

      Stopping the federal government's further intrusion into our lives is not only about preserving our way of life, it is about preserving the foundation of our freedom. Each and every detail that we surrender to government control brings us all as a people to increased dependence on the state and decreased dependence on ourselves and each other. After the government has realized its goal, we become no more than a herd of cattle or a pack of dogs, waiting for another to toss us some hay or leave a garbage can unattended. I am ashamed of the degree to which this great nation and its proud people have been led astray.

    32. Mark Alan Jensen Har says:


    33. Pingback: House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare « Concerned Women for America

    34. Teri Daner, Berlin, says:

      I am opposed to ObamaCare from how it was created in darkness behind close doors, from what I have read, that doing diligence was never done on the contents, prior to passing ObamaCare.

      The figures I feel from what I have read, that the original cost was amplitude, decked, with hidden agendas! The 105 Billon that was hidden from the People, this is not a Republic!

      I say No! By every means possible I want this stopped! I feel ObamaCare will destroy our Health Care System, and this Republic's Economy!

      This is not freedom of choice it is not a Republic, but a Democracy!

    35. Valerie SR CA says:

      If repeal is really what the powers that be want they need to inform the general public about the "ACO's" or new name for HMO and the demise of private practice medicine.

      Now I have heard about the 3.8% federal tax taken from the sale of your primary residence to go directly into the medicare trust fund.

      Stop talking about death squads and let the people know about all the other junk in this bill.

      Seems to me there are many points within this bill that the politician's on both sides actually want to keep.

    36. Pingback: House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare « Concerned Women for America

    37. US Citizen says:

      I support Obamacare repeal 100%. To those in doubt – I am a US citizen now and proud of it. However, first 23 years of my life I experienced first hand 24/7/52 what communism is all about in former Soviet Union. Doubters, 1). any form of communism/socialism is legalized theft. It does not work. it's a one way ticket to destruction. 2) the only type of leadership that works is leadership by example. I'm all too well familiar with Soviet leaders wanting us to live in communism while they wanted none of it. Simple folks like me had to use Soviet "healthcare", better known as "no care" while Communist Party leader flew secret anonymous flights to Switzerland to be treated by the best capitalism had to offer.

      1). Obama is doing the same thing – he wants us to have a healthcare system of which he wants no part. He and his family are covered by Federal Employees Health Benefits Program paid for by us. I want to see Obama and his family be number one customer of Obamacare.
      2). Obamacare basic principles are flawed – take from those who earn and give to those who can but do not want to. That's socialism/communism – legalized theft and a one way ticket to society's downfall. Creators, makers and earners have to keep most of what they create/make/earn.

    38. txdave22 says:


      There is some good news to report. Last year's health insurance reform is already putting money back into the pockets of seniors by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and providing free services that seniors desperately need.

      Seniors have saved $460 million on prescription drugs since the law's passage, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Thousands of Nevada seniors, for example, have saved on average $526 per person.

      Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the prescription drug "doughnut hole" have experienced significant savings, too. Nearly 1 million people in this category have received a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs, according to HHS

      Seniors have saved $460 million on prescription drugs.
      And on top of these savings, more than 17 million seniors have received potentially lifesaving preventive care, such as cancer screenings, without copays or deductibles. Another 1 million have taken advantage of free wellness visits. Half of the Medicare beneficiaries across the nation have received free preventive care.

    39. Robert Eargle says:

      Did you hear how Obama started his victory speech with the statement saying. "The highest court in the land has spoken". Ha! What about three days ago when the court spoke on illigal immigration enforcement. Obama thumbed his nose at the court and then striped the federal assistance necessary to accomplish the enforcement on illegals in Arizona eventhough this highest court clearly (Unanimously) said it was definitely legal and constitutional. Why didnt Obama accept that the court had spoken then and now act like that is significant enough to be the final word,. Obama is so full of u know what!

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