Republicans on and off Capitol Hill are rallying behind using a rarely-deployed budget tool next year to dismantle ObamaCare.
But the issue of how to use “budget reconciliation” has divided Republicans, with some calling for it to be implemented to overhaul the tax code or to push through major energy reforms.
The tool is useful because it could allow newly-empowered Senate Republicans to pass legislation with a 51-vote simple majority rather than the usual 60, greatly increasing the chances of moving legislation to President Obama’s desk.
And while Obama is certain to veto anything that tries to roll back his landmark healthcare law, Republicans increasingly see reconciliation as an important messaging tool to help paint a contrast with Democrats on Obamacare ahead of 2016.
“My guidance is that’s where members are headed,” said one senior Senate Republican aide familiar with the behind-the-scenes budget discussions.
There already appears to be strong bipartisan support to undo smaller pieces of Obamacare — things like restoring the 40-hour workweek and repealing the medical device tax — so those provisions wouldn’t require the filibuster-proof budget tool.