This Sunday, when you gather to watch America’s favorite game, take the opportunity to up your patriotism: contact your Senators and ask them to do the right thing.
What's the Difference?
The votes that happened last week – the Senate and House voting “yes” on the budget resolution bill – was NOT a vote to repeal the ACA. There have been many, many news articles with misleading information on this. The confusing part is that there are two steps to this process:
- The budget resolution (which was last week’s vote) was a vote to set the rules that would essentially allow the ACA to be defunded through budget reconciliation with only a 51-vote majority, rather than with a filibuster-proof 60 votes. In the Senate, the resolution passed 51-48 (with Senator Heller being the only Republican to vote no). Now, the budget reconciliation vote can move forward – but so far, nothing has actually happened to the ACA.
- The budget reconciliation vote is the vote that would actually defund the ACA. Congress has the ability to put anything that has an affect on the federal budget into this bill. Now that the resolution has been passed, Congress will spend the next few weeks crafting the reconciliation bill. If passed, this is the bill that would, essentially, repeal the ACA. A vote will happen on this bill anytime between mid-February to early March.
There are some things about the budget resolution vote that are important to note. First of all, both of TN's Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, have said publicly that they do not want to see a repeal of the ACA without a replacement plan in place, first. This would lead us to believe that they would vote no on the budget reconciliation vote – but their "yes" votes on the budget resolution bill show that they are still willing to possibly move forward with repealing the ACA without replacing it first. If they really, fully intended on not repealing until there's a replacement, they did not need to vote yes on the budget reconciliation bill.
So: it’s time to buckle down. There's never been a more crucial time to be engaged with this issue. There's work to do.
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