Senate Republicans will be able to go ahead with legislation dismantling Obamacare under fast-track rules, according to a procedural ruling reached Tuesday — as long as the GOP makes some changes first.
The Senate parliamentarian ruled Tuesday afternoon that some provisions of a GOP bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood did not survive the so-called Byrd rule, which governs when the powerful procedural tool known as reconciliation can be used. But top GOP Senate aides also noted the parliamentarian ruled that the bill was “privileged,” meaning it can avoid a filibuster. Republicans also maintained that the problem could be resolved relatively easily on the floor with a substitute amendment.
The ruling from the parliamentarian found that two mandates that would be repealed in the GOP bill — the individual mandate and the employer mandate — did not survive the so-called Byrd rule, according to a senior Democratic aide.
But a provision defunding Planned Parenthood — a measure that could give heartburn to moderates who don’t support stripping funding from the women’s health group — could be included in the reconciliation bill, according to the parliamentarian’s ruling.