HomeWashington Letter2015 ▶ Senate Measure to Repeal Affordable Care Act Hits Snag
Senate Measure to Repeal Affordable Care Act Hits Snag

November 2015

Senate Republican efforts to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hit a snag this week when the Senate parliamentarian, who advises the Senate on rules and procedure, ruled that some ACA provisions of the House-passed budget reconciliation package are ineligible for expedited votes requiring only a simple majority vote for passage. The budget reconciliation measure under consideration by the Senate was passed by the House on Oct. 23 and includes repeals of the ACA's individual and employer mandates and medical device tax and additionally, eliminates federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), had planned a Senate floor vote on the bill within the next week with the expectation that it would pass under budget reconciliation instructions requiring only a majority vote of fifty-one senators, rather than the usual sixty votes needed to pass such legislation. Senate Republicans currently hold 54 seats.

Sen. McConnell's office has stated that Senate Democrats are misinterpreting the parliamentarian's ruling and that if some provisions of the bill are changed, it can still pass under expedited procedures with a simple majority. So, there remains a possibility that some aspects of the ACA could be repealed by the budget reconciliation package.

Last Reviewed: October 2017