A conservative revolt is threatening to derail an ObamaCare repeal bill that Republicans had hoped to send to President Obama’s desk.
The House on Friday is expected to pass the long-awaited legislation, which would demolish major pillars of ObamaCare and — under the rules of reconciliation — bypass a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.
But a small core of conservatives in both chambers, led by presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), are upset that the legislation doesn’t repeal ObamaCare root and branch. They say GOP leaders need to pursue full repeal and stand up against the one obstacle that appears to be in their way: the Senate parliamentarian.
“In some cases, I think the Senate is being a little too deferential to the parliamentarian, and I think it’s time for the leadership of the Senate to stand up to the parliamentarian,” Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said Thursday. He said he is still deciding how to vote on Friday’s bill.
While the bill is expected to clear the House with little conservative opposition, its prospects are less certain in the Senate.
Cruz announced late Thursday that he — along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another presidential candidate — would oppose any partial repeal of ObamaCare through reconciliation.
“At the end of the day, the Senate parliamentarian is an employee of the Senate. Virtually every Republican campaigned promising full repeal,” Cruz told The Hill on Thursday.