WASHINGTON – On a day rich in political theater, Senate Republicans pushed for repeal of the year-old health care law on Wednesday, certain of defeat yet eager to force rank-and-file Democrats to take a stand on an issue steeped in controversy.
The showdown approached as lawmakers in both parties agreed the law's fate rests with the Supreme Court, not Congress.
Even so, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the vote marked an opportunity for Democrats who voted for the bill last year "to listen to those who have desperately been trying to get your attention."
"To say, yes, maybe my vote for this bill was a mistake, and that we can do better," McConnell said.
Democrats worked to minimize any political repercussions, a concern for a party already acutely aware it must defend 22 seats — and its shrunken Senate majority — in the 2012 elections