Durbin, D-Ill., speaks as Sen. Patty Murray, left and Reid, right listen during the weekly Senate luncheon news conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Democrats won’t put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.
Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama’s signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.
That path was set on Tuesday when the Senate parliamentarian’s office cleared a GOP amendment to the reconciliation bill that would disable the individual and employer mandates in the health care law by reducing the penalties to zero, according to congressional staff.
Even without the ability to throw up traditional procedural roadblocks, Democrats still could have jammed up the process with numerous amendments. But they have elected not to do so, and are looking toward other must-pass items. Full story