The Path to 50
With Chief Justice John Roberts’ unthinkable decision to uphold Obamacare yesterday, all focus now shifts to repeal for conservatives. In order to repeal Obamacare, two things must happen: Republicans must retake the White House, and they must retake the Senate.
Contrary to popular opinion, Republicans don’t need a 60-vote majority to ram through an Obamacare repeal – as Ken Klukowski pointed out yesterday, “The only way to stop Obamacare now is with a one-page repeal bill that must be passed by the House and Senate. Because it would reduce the deficit you can pass it with 51 votes as a reconciliation bill in the Senate; you don’t need 60 votes.”
Republicans currently have 47 seats in the Senate. They only have 10 Senate seats up for re-election, as opposed to Democrats’ 23. Essentially, Republicans need to shift three seats from the Democrats and hold their own in order to win repeal, since the VP is the tiebreaker – although that assumes homogenous Senate Republican support for repeal.