Top GOP lawmakers in Congress have given themselves seven weeks to turn a powerful, if limited and unwieldy, budget tool into a long-sought bill to repeal Obamacare.
The clock started ticking Friday, when the Senate Budget Committee formally instructed the Finance and Health committees to each find ways to reduce the deficit by at least $1 billion over the next decade, the next step in an arcane budget process that Republicans have eyed as their best chance put a repeal bill on President Obama’s desk.
House budget negotiators sent similar instructions to its committees on Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.
The fast-track process, known as “reconciliation,” allows the GOP-led Congress to use deficit reduction as the vehicle for new legislation that can pass on a majority vote in the Senate. That means Republicans could overpower Democrats who still have the votes to filibuster.