Republicans May Face Whiplash on Healthcare Reform “No” Votes

Republicans seeking to repeal and replace healthcare reform.  “Go for it,” says the President.  After a bruising 14-month battle, Congressional Democrats finally passed healthcare reform legislation without a single Republican “yes” in the final vote tally.  According to The Hill, the speed with which Democrats passed the bill and sent it to President Barack Obama for his signature may have some Republicans feeling “whiplash”.  As the Congressional Easter/Passover recess begins and Senators and Congressmen head to their home districts, some Republicans are threatening a “repeal and replace” effort to which President Obama reacted by saying “They’re actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November.  Well, I say go for it.”

The Hill argues that some Republicans have doubts about the success of “repeal and replace”, realizing that not only did they lose, but they also have lost any claim to the advantages that will emerge from the largest expansion of the nation’s social safety net in a generation.  According to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “Our constituents expect us to stand up and fight the good fight, but there’s always a reasonableness factor that needs to come into place.  Sometimes there’s a fine line between what is being an advocate for your cause and when you become obstreperous.”

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) “had initially planned to offer scores of amendments to stall the healthcare reform fixes and stop Democrats from putting the finishing touches on the legislation,” according to The Hill.  DeMint notes that “The leadership has asked us to focus on substantive amendments.  I had 50 amendments.  I still have them in my back pocket, but I’ll probably only offer two or three.”  DeMint introduced just a single amendment, which was defeated.

David Frum, a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, put it this way:  “Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan.  Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views?  Too late now.  They are all law

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