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Republicans to vote on repealing Obamacare … again

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • House’s first month has focused on base issues without much chance of getting to the president
  • Why another Obamacare vote? Freshmen want to say they voted against it
  • Law remains unpopular, but people like the subsidies
  • Attorney General nominee faces confirmation hearing

One more time: Republican Rep. Charlie Dent, who is in a Pennsylvania district Mitt Romney won in 2012 just 51 to 48 percent, last week lamented the kinds of issues House Republicans have been taking up so far in this new 114th Congress. In his words:

“Week one, we had a Speaker election that didn’t go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we spent a lot of time talking about deporting children, a conversation a lot of us didn’t want to have. Week three, we’re debating reportable rape and incest — again, not an issue a lot of us wanted to have a conversation about. I just can’t wait for week four.”

So what about Week Four? It will be about (drum roll) repealing Obamacare. House Republicans, leadership aides confirm, will move forward with a bill on full repeal of the health care law, something Republicans have done half a dozen times now. (They have voted more than 50 times on measures relating to changing the law, including six times for full repeal). So why are Republicans doing this again? Frankly, because newly elected freshmen members haven’t voted for it before, and they want the opportunity to do so.

A pretty good week for proponents of Obamacare: Meanwhile yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 9.5 million people had signed up for coverage under the law. The law faces an uncertain future before the Supreme Court later this year, and it remains unpopular. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll finds that 40 percent approve of it while 46 percent do not. But, according to that same poll, 64 percent said that if the Supreme Court rules against federally sponsored state subsidies, then Congress should pass a law making them available. In all, between the sign ups, that polling, and the CBO report showing cost forecasts lower, it’s been a good week for proponents of the law — and they haven’t gotten very many of those.

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1916, President Wilson appointed Louis D. Brandeis to the U.S. Supreme Court; Brandeis became its first Jewish member. How many current Supreme Court justices are Jewish? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to roy wait (‏@ind22rxw) for guessing Tuesday’s trivia: How long were those hostages held in Iran? The answer: 444 days.

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