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PMAA News from Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, the Senate voted mostly along party lines to take the first official step toward repealing President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. The 51-48 vote was a procedural motion to start debate on a budget resolution that Republicans hope will result in overhauling Obamacare, and came shortly after President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence visited Capitol Hill to rally their respective parties on the issue.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only senator to break with his party, joining Democrats in opposing the motion. Sen. Paul did not support the bill because it doesn't balance the underlying budget.

The Senate will now begin 50 hours of debate on the budget measure, which sets up a repeal of much of Obamacare through a separate budget reconciliation bill. Debate on this budget resolution is expected to last several days, after which there will be a "vote-a-rama,” when an open-ended number of amendments to the budget resolution will get votes, creating an opportunity for Democrats to further delay the process.

The budget resolution is the first step of two in a process to repeal Obamacare. It instructs Congressional committees to introduce a budget reconciliation bill, which will include language repealing major parts of the law.

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