Well, this is embarrassing. Republicans have made so many attempts to repeal “Obamacare” that the scorekeepers have lost count.
“Republicans,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., “voted to repeal it 40 times.”
“Their 38th vote to repeal,” Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, tallied Wednesday on the House floor.
“Thirty-nine times,” declared New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee.
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wasn't sure. The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee's health subcommittee referred to criticism that “Republicans are trying for the 38th or 39th time to repeal Obamacare.”
But let's not pick on Brady. All the tallies fall well short of the actual number of times Congress has voted to repeal all or part of Obamacare. It has done that — are you sitting down? — 67 times.
According to Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's fact checker, there were 37 votes to scale back Obamacare before two votes Wednesday in the House. But those 39 don't include the Senate, where Reid's office has documented 28 votes, all but a couple in the form of Republican amendments. This might explain the new findings that Congress is holding more votes than ever but passing fewer bills.
The 66th and 67th attempts went much like the previous 65, except for a mid-debate recess so that lawmakers could have their official photograph taken on the House floor.
“This bill is unraveling before us,” exulted Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, reported that “the train is not coming off the rails; it's already off the rails.”