Speaking on Fox News Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas (A, 98%) dismissed concerns that Republicans cannot fully repeal Obamacare with the budget reconciliation process under what Gohmert derogatorily referred to as “the KKK rule,” an arcane part of Senate procedure called the “Byrd rule,” named for the late Sen. Robert Byrd.
Gohmert argued that Republicans are hiding behind Senate procedure to cover for their inaction on Obamacare repeal.
“We need to at least be as bold as we were in 2015,” Gohmert told “Happening Now” host Jon Scott, referring to a bill passed by Congress in 2015 to fully repeal Obamacare. That bill was vetoed by President Obama.
Republican leadership is pitching health care reform in different “phases,” claiming that the entirety of the law cannot be repealed with budget reconciliation. Gohmert claims this is inaccurate, and that the rule ostensibly preventing full repeal and replace of Obamacare has not prevented Congress from enacting health care reforms before. After all, the Democrat Party used budget reconciliation to pass the entirety of the Affordable Care Act.
“Anyway, it seems like the Byrd rule, or KKK rule, whatever it is they call it now in the Senate …It seems more like a rule that let’s them say we can’t do that because ‘the Byrd rule’ or whatever,” Gohmert said.
Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, was a racist member of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1942, he recruited 150 people to a new chapter of the KKK in Sophia, West Virginia. Later in life, Byrd would renounce his association with the Klan, explaining "I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened."
This is not the first time Rep. Gohmert has mentioned Sen. Byrd’s sordid history in conversation over the rule that bears his name.
"The Democrats have a rule they named after a former member of the KKK, oh yeah, the Byrd rule." -Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 11, 2016
But Gohmert’s point is that Republicans cannot let an arcane Senate rule — which is in their power to change as the majority party — prevent them from fully repealing Obamacare.
“If we don't get the more important parts of Obamacare repealed, what’s really critical is the prices of the insurance won't go down. The deductibles won't go down. It will still be hurting Americans,” Gohmert warned.
“We have to do the right thing and repeal as much of Obamacare as it takes to bring the prices down and to give the patients more choices in what they do.”
“It’s just unaffordable right now,” he added.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are Conservative Political Philosophy, the American Founding, and Progressive Rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.