With the collapse of their latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have once again acknowledged what has been obvious for several months: They do not have a Senate majority large enough to reshape the nation’s health-insurance system.
They are betting, however, that it’s big enough to rewrite the tax code.
Unwilling to make concessions to Democrats, GOP leaders have pursued a legislative strategy designed to cut them out entirely, using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation that allows them to circumvent the 60-vote threshold to defeat a filibuster. But that process requires Republicans to marshall 50 out of their 52 votes in the Senate—a near-unanimity they were repeatedly unable to achieve in repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“There are 50