In the battle between Republicans and Democrats, Republicans have naturally decided to go it alone in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- otherwise known as Obamacare, by replacing it with their own American Health Care Act (AHCA), which they finally forced through the House without a CBO score in early May. As Blasting News reported at the time, the passing of the bill was unconventional and was passed in such a way without much care as to whether they should. In other words, it was passed just for the sake of passing it with many symbolic votes.

Senate's difficult passage of AHCA

Since then, it has been up to the Senate Republicans to either cannibalize the bill or start over from scratch to write their own. Senate Republicans have reportedly been working behind closed doors to put something together and what has been reported about their progress so far is that some Republicans are reluctant to meet a deadline to vote on the bill before July. The reasons for this are likely due to the way the AHCA was passed by the House in which case they might not have a working bill that's any less controversial to replace a law that has been around for seven years now. In order for the Senate to have an easier vote, they've had to settle for a vote by a simple majority rather than the traditional 60 threshold.

Republicans make is harder without Democrats

In early May, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that they would not be asking Democrats for help and would pursue a Simple Majority Vote instead. In 2011, then Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went nuclear to change the Senate rules in order for them to also vote by a simple majority of 51 which overruled the Parliamentarian who advises the Senate and the Presiding Officer.

Since then -- with Republicans having the majority --- McConnell has also gone nuclear to side-step Democratic involvement, however, as briefly mentioned in one Blasting News article about issues facing the Senate GOP to pass the bill -- there is language in the bill that would cause more problems among anti-abortion advocates.

Abortion threatens bill

But there are also details surrounding how many votes they can get which depends on the kind of bill they're passing. This means that they intend on passing the AHCA under a special budgetary process of reconciliation. It is then up to the Parliamentarian -- Elizabeth MacDonough -- to determine whether they can do that with their bill. In order for the Parliamentarian to determine this, the bill has to be scrutinized by six different requirements under the Byrd Rule, one of them is regarding changes to "government outlays or revenues" through policy. The language MacDonough has flagged refers to stripping of the Hyde Amendment which restricts government funding for abortion to insurers unless it's for women who are victims or rape or for life and death situations.

If the provision in the Senate bill attempts to change policy and yet they're trying to pass it within the requirements of budgetary simple majority vote rules, then it is breaking with the Byrd Rule. This doesn't include that stripping the Hyde Amendment would upset anti-abortion advocates. The Presiding Officer -- Vice President Mike Pence -- can overrule MacDonough -- which is rare -- as well as break a tie should there be one when the Senate votes. But again, anti-abortion Republicans will be more reluctant to vote for a bill without the Hyde Amendment. Abortion issues in the bill and with any legislation is already a divisive one and would already threaten the bill even more than it already is.

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