Republicans who urged anti-healthcare supporters to help them “kill the bill” only days ago suddenly seem to be shouting “repeal the bill,” as if Democrats are truly destined for victory. Yet their Democratic opponents in the House seem too scared to say ‘yea’ without more than a little hand-holding.
Dozens of Republican lawmakers and candidates are reported to have signed a pledge to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan, should the GOP take control of either the House or Senate in November. The Washington Post says 37 House and Senate members and 163 congressional candidates have already signed the pledge.
That’s an agreement to overturn legislation that hasn’t even seen sunlight. And it comes less than two days after fiscal conservative activists kicked off an 11th hour bid to drown the Democratic cause in a torrent of phone calls, e-mails and congressional office visits.
The Republican action may seem very confident. But it does show just how big a role the healthcare reform issue is likely to play in the November elections, when voters cast ballots for all 435 House seats and one-third of the 100 Senate seats.
Democrats, equally aware of the consequences, are already planning to use an arcane parliamentary procedure in the House that would allow themselves to pass Obama’s reforms without directly voting for them.