One of the dirty little secrets that most people don’t understand about politics is that a lot of votes taken in Congress have nothing to do with actually changing policy. Instead, those votes take place solely so that they can be used during the next campaign. Here’s a perfect example:
House conservatives are clamoring for a floor vote on a full repeal of the 2010 healthcare overhaul, saying that freshman Republicans need an opportunity to tell their constituents they tried to scrap the law.
“The guys who have been up here the last two years, we can go home and say, ‘Listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace ObamaCare.’ Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say?” second-term Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by the Heritage Foundation…After two years in which House Republicans voted on a near-weekly basis to repeal part of or all of the healthcare law, the GOP leadership shifted strategy following Obama’s reelection in November.
With repeal of the law seemingly impossible for the next four years, top Republicans are instead eyeing more modest measures that could change the law or its implementation.
But that’s not sufficient for many hard-liners in the conference who want the party to continue to push for full repeal.
“I want a chance as a freshman to do that, even if it’s just symbolic,” Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said.
Because 36 votes to do something that everyone knows will not get done isn’t enough.