Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin likes to taunt his Republican colleagues, arguing that ObamaCare can't be repealed because 60 votes are required to end debate in the Senate on any measure.
Though Republicans will likely win control of the Senate in 2012, Mr. Durbin is right that they probably won't get to 60 senators. That would require the GOP to win back more than half the Democratic seats up next year. Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.) recently called GOP promises of repeal "a political scam on their base. . . . It can't happen."
Not so fast. Keith Hennessey, a former White House colleague of mine, says Democrats are wrong. He argues that Republicans can repeal health-care reform with a simple Senate majority.
Director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush, Mr. Hennessey now teaches at Stanford Business School and is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Last week on his website, KeithHennessey.com, he made the case that congressional Republicans could use the reconciliation process to kill ObamaCare with 51 votes in the Senate and a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Budget Act of 1974 established the reconciliation process. The House and Senate Budget Committees can direct other committees to make changes in mandatory spending (like ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies) and the tax code (such as ObamaCare's levies on insurance policies, hospitals and drug companies) to make spending and revenue conform with the goals set by the annual budget resolution.
Karl Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. He is a Fox News contributor and author of "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions, 2010). To continue reading his column on ObamaCare, click here.
Karl Rove joined Fox News Channel (FNC) as a political contributor in February 2008. He also currently serves as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.