Following an almost two-week Hawaiian vacation, President Obama will re-enter Washington with a bang. According to a report in Politico, the president is planning to head to Capitol Hill in a last-ditch effort to try to save Obamacare. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
Obama will reportedly huddle with Democrats to strategize a protective legislative barrier around his signature healthcare policy — a policy Republicans, and President-elect Donald Trump, have vowed to repeal and/or re-configure. Either way, Obama is making a rare Capitol Hill visit to try to stop the GOP.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that rejiggering Obamacare, or dismantling it altogether, would be “the first item up in the new year.” McConnell said in a press conference:
“Will there be challenges? Absolutely, yes. This has been a very, very controversial law. We have an obligation to the American people to change it and to do a better job.”
When the Obamacare stand-off eventually reaches a partisan boiling point, likely at some point next year, circumventing traditional Congressional voting measures might be the way for Republicans to ram through a more conservative healthcare package. Politico explains:
“Though most legislation generally needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate, Republicans can do away with significant portions of Obamacare with a simple majority by using a parliamentary move called 'reconciliation,' which undercuts a filibuster. The GOP is also mulling a lengthy transition period for Obamacare repeal, meaning that the law would not actually be abolished for years — buying Republicans time to craft a replacement.”
Obama has been in Hawaii on vacation with his family since December 16th. The White House has yet to confirm his exact date of return to Washington, but with a Wednesday meeting on the Hill, he will likely touch down at the White House at some point on Tuesday.