Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the incoming chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, pledged that his branch of Congress would pass a repeal of the Democrats' health reform law before President Obama's State of the Union address in late January. Upton predicted the repeal bill would pass with a veto-proof majority, pressuring the Democratic-controlled Senate to follow suit. Is there any basis for Upton's optimism — or it just wishful thinking? (Watch a Fox News discussion about the GOP's hopes)
This is just a GOP stunt: "House Republicans are doing this for show," and everybody knows it, says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. There is zero chance the Senate will agree to this "public-relations stunt," and Obama's veto power seals its failure. Besides, would Republicans really want their first big act upon taking control of the House to involve "taking away health care coverage for millions" and "making seniors pay more for prescription drugs"?
"Going through the motions on repeal"
Republicans have a shot at partial repeal: Upton's assertion that he has a veto-proof majority "is actually laughable," says Doug Mataconis in Outside the Beltway, since it means 42 House Democrats will have to side with him. But Obama and the Democrats won't be laughing if Republicans give up on their "Hail Mary Pass" of achieving complete repeal and focus instead on a piece-by-piece attack to undo certain "onerous and unnecessary" provisions. The GOP could win "a few victories" that way.
"House will take up repeal of ObamaCare..."
Democrats should welcome this attack: "Turn 'em loose, I say," says Taylor Marsh in her blog. The health care overhaul "is a bad bill," but it is a step in the right direction, and Republicans have no idea how to replace it. So "Democrats should clear the way and let conservatives have the floor" — "when your adversary is intent on making a fool of himself, don't get in his way."
"Conservatives first attack: 'ObamaCare'"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
Subscribe to the Week