Mitch McConnell, showing the number of positions he's willing to take on any given issue
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell alarmed his conservative allies on Tuesday when he declared
"no one thinks" a Republican Senate will vote to repeal Obamacare because even if Republicans retake control of the Senate, they won't have the 60 votes they need to thwart a Democratic filibuster.
Flash-forward 48 hours, however, and now McConnell is singing a different song:
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he would be willing to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority if he takes over as majority leader in January, his spokesman told the Washington Examiner on Thursday.
This would require McConnell to use the budget reconciliation process, a set of rules designed to allow budgetary measures to move through the Senate with a simple majority, avoiding the threat of a filibuster. Of course, even if the GOP takes that route, President Obama will still veto any Obamacare repeal legislation and Republicans don't have the votes to override a veto.
The weird thing about this shift is that it's not a new position for McConnell—he has planned to use reconciliation to try to undo Obamacare for years now. But when he said that Obamacare couldn't be repealed without 60 votes, he was walking away from reconciliation, perhaps because he doesn't want people in Kentucky to think he will be able to repeal Obamacare and along with it Kynect, which provides insurance to roughly 1 in 10 Kentuckians.
Sign up right now to make GOTV calls to Democratic voters in the toss-up states that will decide control of the Senate.
I'm sorry, I can't make phone calls, but I will chip in $3 to Daily Kos to help fuel Get Out The Vote efforts.
But even though his Tuesday comments were an attempt to straddle the line between opposing and accepting Obamacare, his quick return to reconciliation makes it clear that McConnell knows he's ultimately beholden to the right. He might talk from both sides of his mouth during the campaign, but there's no question which side will be doing the talking after the election: The right side.