“Unfortunately, it will have to be a Republicans-only exercise. But we’re working hard to get there.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in remarks to reporters June 13
It has become a regular feature of the U.S. political system that the politicians in the minority accuse the politicians in power of cutting deals behind closed doors to advance controversial legislation — only to engage in similar tactics once they regain power.
This has become increasingly clear as Republicans in the Senate struggle to craft a health-care deal that will gain at least 50 votes, the bare minimum necessary under the legislative path — known as reconciliation — chosen by the GOP. Republicans have only 52 senators, so only two can oppose a deal for Vice President Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. Thus far, the negotiations on a bill to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new law have been conducted in secrecy, leaving critical details unclear.