How, you may have wondered, did Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan get their conferences of crazy people to go along with funding the government without all the drama of shutdown threats over ideological issues? Why of course, by promising to return to symbolic, ideological, pointless votes in the new year. That includes, of course, Obamacare repeal, Planned Parenthood defunding, and banning refugees.
Of course, this time there's going to be an Obamacare replacement plan. Just like all the other times it was promised.
“When we return in January, the House will put an ObamaCare repeal bill on the floor and pass it and put it on the president’s desk,” Ryan told reporters Thursday. “We are going to keep working to give families relief from this law while we work to dismantle and replace it altogether." […]
The bill is the product of months of work by GOP chairmen in both chambers to repeal as much of ObamaCare as possible through an obscure budget process known as reconciliation.They're going to time this try to force President Obama's veto of it just before he gives his State of the Union address. Because that's what they do. This bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, because they can. Vote on it, that is. They can't actually take the funding away as long as there's a Democrat in the White House to veto it. It seems that Ryan will also promise a vote on what they're calling the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), to try to get abortion coverage out of health insurance plans. It's basically Hobby Lobby extended.
Meanwhile, McConnell has promised both Senate and House Republicans that they can beat up on refugees once the holiday celebrating the world's most famous refugee is over and the optics aren't so bad.
House Republicans had suggested that McConnell had made a commitment to move refugee legislation, with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) telling reporters that the Kentucky Republican "has given us assurances that he would move the bill separately in the Senate when we return in January.”So after a brief interlude in December to function like a governing body and do stuff, the Republican Congress will return to its normal dysfunction and obstruction for the remainder of President Obama's term in office.