ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Only hours before tonight’s State of the Union, the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell kicked off the legislative process of bringing the health care repeal to the Senate floor for a vote.
McConnell has steadfastly said that the repeal, passed by the House earlier this month, will eventually come to a full Senate vote, despite the fact that his counterpart Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said otherwise.
Earlier today McConnell reiterated, “We’ll be voting on the health care repeal.”
“In the Senate it’s difficult to deny a vote,” he told reporters this afternoon after a GOP caucus meeting. “And let me just ask this – why would our friends on the other side not want to have this vote? Only three Democrats in the House have voted to repeal it – only three. I believe they’re proud of it. I think you will hear the president brag about it tonight. I don’t know why in the world they wouldn’t want to have a vote on repeal and proudly vote against it. But if they choose not to have the vote in a sort of voluntary way, we will have it, I assure you.”
At the same time McConnell has acknowledged that even if he succeeds in forcing a Senate vote, the repeal is extremely unlikely to pass given that Democrats still hold a 53 to 47 majority in the upper chamber of Congress. His move today merely starts the legislative process of trying to put the House-passed repeal bill on the Senate calendar so at some point it can come to a vote.