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Senate GOP to try to force health care repeal vote

From NBC’s Ken Strickland and Kelly O’Donnell
*** UPDATE *** Strickland reports that the repeal vote may take place today or tomorrow.

Democrats intend to introduce a "budget point of order" against the McConnell effort, using a procedural maneuver to prevent an up-or-down vote in favor of a kind of proxy vote instad.

In simple terms, there are several Senate rules that require certain bills to fall within specific fiscal constraints and not add to the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office says the new health care law reduced the deficit by about than $130-billion in the first ten years and a trillion dollars over the second decade. To repeal it, Democrats argue, would be to adding that money back to the deficit.

"It breaks the budget by a trillion dollars," Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters earlier today of the Republican effort to repeal the health care bill. "They don't show any way of making up that trillion dollars."

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says all of his 47 members will vote for repeal, but Republicans would need to produce 60 votes to waive the point of order and advance to bill.

While it may not be the straight-up-or-down vote Republicans seek, GOP aides say it will serve some political purpose.

"Everybody will have the opportunity to be on [the] record," McConnell said. "I think it will be clear who is for repeal and who isn't."

From NBC's Ken Strickland and Kelly O'Donnell
GOP sources tell NBC News that Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will try to force a Senate vote on the House-passed motion to repeal the health care reform law this week.

As early as today, McConnell will offer the repeal as an amendment to an unrelated aviation bill that the Senate is slated to consider this afternoon.

McConnell has pledged to use the rules of the Senate to push for a vote on repeal, although Democrats have some procedural tools at their disposal that could be used to prevent a final vote.

While it’s unlikely that the GOP will gain the Democratic support needed to garner enough votes for the measure to pass (and Obama could veto the measure even if it did), a repeal vote would force Democrats who are up for re-election in 2012 to go on the record in support of legislation which may not be popular in their home states.

 Msnbc.com’s Carrie Dann contributed