July 19, 2017

BYRON YORK: No surprise: On Obamacare, GOP senators don’t do what they don’t want to do.

Collins, who opposes the current bill, is the only Republican in the Senate who voted against repeal back in 2015. But look at the GOP senators who voted in favor of repeal: Dean Heller, the Nevada senator who’s been very publicly reluctant to support the current effort. Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, and more. Would they all vote the same way again with a Republican in the White House and a majority of voters opposed to the bill?

The answer is that it is exceedingly unlikely they will have to cast that vote. Look carefully at what McConnell said. First, the Senate will “vote to take up the House bill.” And then, after it votes to take up the House bill, the first amendment to be considered and voted on will be that December 2015 Obamacare bill. But remember, McConnell’s statement came after it became clear that Republicans would not vote to take up the bill in the first place. So if they are true to their words and vote against sending the bill to the Senate floor, then they will never have to vote on any amendments to it — meaning they won’t have to re-affirm their December 2015 support for repealing Obamacare.

The searing test of Republican hypocrisy — what radio host Hugh Hewitt called #TheHotSeatForHypocrites — won’t happen.

That doesn’t mean Obamacare repeal is dead forever. Just as it happened after initial failure in the House, Republicans will realize they have to do something after agitating for repeal for seven-plus years.

Maybe they’ll do the right thing, once they’ve exhausted all the other alternatives.

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