President Ronald Reagan once said, “We should carry a banner of no pale pastels—but one of bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on the issues.”
The 2010 mid-term elections were historic. Running opposite of President Barack Obama’s agenda—primarily the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare—the Republican efforts resulted in 63 seats changing hands, the highest loss of a party in a House mid-term election since 1938 and the largest House swing from one party to the other since 1948.
Americans were angry with the Democrats’ efforts on health care reform, feeling hoodwinked by a 1,400-page bill crafted in such a fashion that members of Congress were urged to “pass [it] so we can find out what is in it,” as then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is remembered for saying.
After four years of further Democratic control of the Senate, Republicans were able to wrest control in the 2014 mid-term elections from Majority Leader Harry Reid, keeping it for the remaining two years of Obama’s term.
Republicans would finally be able to send some legislation to the president’s desk. The big target? Obamacare.
The Full Repeal Bill
In order to send an Obamacare repeal bill to the president’s desk with only a 54-46 Senate majority, congressional Republicans had to use a budgetary tactic known as budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority of votes in the Senate (51) in order to pass. (This is the same method Democrats had to use to pass the bulk of Obamacare in 2010.)
The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 (H.R. 3762) was the reconciliation legislation for fiscal year 2016, and the vehicle used to repeal Obamacare. Predictably, Obama vetoed the bill on Jan. 8, 2016.
During the presidential election cycle in 2016, Republicans were once again given the nod by the nation by retaining the majority in the House of Representatives, keeping a 52-48 majority in the Senate, and winning the White House with the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Obamacare was once again in the crosshairs of the Republican majority.