Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday said he's committed to repealing Obamacare very quickly in 2017, and then following it up with tax reform in the spring.
"The status quo is not sustainable — the notion that we could do nothing and allow the current [Obamacare] law to implode is unacceptable," McConnell told reporters Monday.
McConnell said both the Obamacare repeal and tax reform would take place on two separate budget resolutions, legislative vehicles that require a simple 51-vote majority instead of the 60 votes required for most bills to proceed in Senate.
"We anticipate doing two budget resolutions," he said. "The first will be the Obamacare repeal resolution and another in the spring that will be largely dedicated to tax reform."
The comprehensive tax reform bill is aimed at stopping the exodus of U.S. businesses overseas for to avoid higher U.S. tax rates.
"We're all concerned about the offshoring of jobs ... our tax structure makes if very difficult [for businesses] to stay here," he said.
McConnell was tight-lipped on how Republicans in Congress would approach the difficult effort of replacing Obamacare and retain the pieces of the law supported by most people, including GOP lawmakers. Those include prohibiting insurance companies from denying policies to people with pre-existing conditions.
"The timing of the phase in has yet to be determined," McConnell said. "Doing nothing is not an option because you've seen the headlines all last year about the status quo."