It’s been like a long-delayed New Year’s resolution for Republicans. But 2016 will finally be the year when they put legislation on President Barack Obama’s desk repealing his health care law.
The bill undoing the president’s prized overhaul will be the first order of business when the House reconvenes this coming week, marking a sharply partisan start on Capitol Hill to a congressional year in which legislating may take a back seat to politics.
There are few areas of potential compromise between Obama and the GOP majority in the House and Senate in this election year, but plenty of opportunities for political haymaking during the presidential campaign season.
Obama will veto the health law repeal bill, which also would cut money for Planned Parenthood. The measure already has passed the Senate under special rules protecting it from Democratic obstruction. But that’s the point for Republicans, who intend to schedule a veto override vote for Jan. 22, when anti-abortion activists hold their annual march in Washington to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion.
Despite dozens of past votes to repeal the health law in full or in part, Republicans never before have succeeded in sending a full repeal bill to the White House. They insist that doing so will fulfill promises to their constituents while highlighting the clear choice facing voters in the November presidential election.
Every Republican candidate has pledged to undo the health law. The Democrats running for president would keep it in place.