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Democrats plan marathon protest in Senate

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

January 09, 2017

Democrats plan a marathon of talks Monday night in an attempt to stymie Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the night-long protest would be held Monday. Democrats will deliver floor speeches throughout the night that will be streamed on Facebook Live.

The marathon of speeches comes the same week as the Senate considers final passage of a budget resolution that would jumpstart Obamacare repeal.

The resolution directs spending levels for the next decade and directs several committees to start drafting Obamacare repeal legislation by Jan. 27.

The idea behind the resolution, which is non-binding, is to create a framework for Republicans to use the reconciliation process to pass a repeal bill. Reconciliation enables legislation to be approved via a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, but the bill must address only spending and budget levels.

Republicans plan to leave Obamacare in place for a few years while they create a replacement. Democrats have been warning about the implications of repealing Obamacare without an immediate replacement.

Republicans are planning to hold a vote-a-rama on the budget resolution Wednesday for amendments on the resolution.

While Democrats have remained united in opposing the resolution, some GOP senators have expressed skepticism about repealing the law without a replacement.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for instance, said that repealing the law without a replacement would create a $1 trillion hole in the deficit over the next decade. He said on Twitter late Friday that President-elect Trump agrees with his position that repeal and replace needs to happen immediately.