Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a gift with the passage of the budget on Friday: the budget contains no reconciliation instructions for Obamacare repeal.
The two-year, $300 billion budget known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 contains no reconciliation instructions for Obamacare repeal. Budgetary reconciliation allows Republicans to pass legislation using only a simple majority in the Senate.
The Republican-controlled Congress used budgetary reconciliation to attempt to repeal Obamacare with the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Senate-blocked Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), as well as Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Graham-Cassidy Obamacare block grant repeal bill.
Republicans in Congress successfully used reconciliation to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which featured significant tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families.
The budget confirmed rumors that McConnell and the rest of Republican leadership planned to abandon Obamacare repeal in 2018.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that giving up Obamacare repeal “could be the biggest mistake we could make in 2018,” which will “hurt us at the ballot box.”
Graham explained, “If the reports are true that the Republican leadership is abandoning the promise to repeal Obamacare, it’s a huge mistake not only in the short term, but also the long run. There’s only one unpardonable sin in politics, and that’s to stop trying to fulfill a promise.”
The South Carolinian argued that to facilitate Obamacare repeal in 2018, Republicans should “pass a budget, with reconciliation instructions, and then pick up what we did last year and have a debate worthy of the Senate.”
Graham told Breitbart News, “One of the biggest miscalculations we can make in 2018 is to abandon our efforts to replace Obamacare and [think] it will not hurt us at the ballot box. It will hurt us at the ballot box because most Republicans are going to feel let down. The public is going to see healthcare costs go up and hold us accountable for not trying. This could be the biggest mistake we could make in 2018. If we put it up to vote and we fall short, at least we put people on the record. I can’t promise the outcome, and I can promise to fix a system that is collapsing all over the country. I think it will come back to haunt us. It will deflate our base and energize the liberal Democrat base. You will wipe away most of the gains from the tax cuts.”
Sen. Graham concluded, “I think this is a defining moment for the Republican Party and the Trump presidency.”