Sen. Mike Lee: Repeal Obamacare With 51-Vote Senate Majority

By Ali Meyer | January 20, 2015 | 7:09pm EST

( -- Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said “yes,” he would use reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the signature legislation of President Barack Obama.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, asked the senator, “Given that the Senate enacted Obamacare in a reconciliation measure that only required 51 votes, would you support repealing Obamacare with only 51 votes?”

“Yes,” said the senator.

Established through the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, budget reconciliation means that the Senate can pass fiscally relevant measures, such as tax or spending items in existing legislation, with a simple majority, 51 votes out of 100, instead of the supermajority of 60 votes out of 100 needed to pass legislation. Senate debate on a reconciliation measure is limited to 20 hours.

According to the Associated Press, budget reconciliation is the “only filibuster-proof option available to Republicans who control the Senate with 54 seats but must still muster 60 votes to pass other legislation.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).  (AP Photo)

In 2010, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill that included the Obamacare legislation, was passed with only 56 votes.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said at the Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit last week that Republicans should “use every procedural tool available, including reconciliation, to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes in the Senate.”

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