Chambliss wants repeal vote


ATLANTA --- U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss predicted Friday there will be a vote in the Senate on the repeal of a landmark federal health care law and suggested that Newt Gingrich will face a tough road ahead if he runs for president.


In an interview with reporters in Atlanta, Georgia's senior senator said that if they must, Republicans will try to attach health care repeal as an amendment to every Senate bill that comes up.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the health care repeal measure that passed in the House earlier this week would not come up for a vote in the Democratic-led Senate.

"I don't know why he would make that statement because I assure you, if we have to, every bill that comes before the Senate will have repeal of health care as an amendment and under our rules germaneness is not an issue," Chambliss said. "We'll have debate in the Senate on the issue of repealing health care.

"Now he (Reid) may have the votes. He probably does, but there will be a vote on it."

Chambliss said he's not sure whom he'll back in the GOP race shaping up for president but expressed some reservations about Gingrich, the former House speaker from Georgia.

Chambliss praised Gingrich as "one of the most astute political minds in the country":

"But there obviously is a lot of baggage. No question about it."

Gingrich could face criticism from opponents on a number of issues, ranging from his leadership of the Republican majority in Congress he helped orchestrate in 1994 to his infidelity while he was an outspoken critic of President Clinton's conduct during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Chambliss said Gingrich is "obviously aware of all the negative aspects of the campaign."

Gingrich has said he will decide by the end of February whether he will launch an exploratory bid to seek the White House.

Chambliss said he plans to seek a third term when he is up for re-election in 2014. He said he expects to vacate his spot as the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee and take over as the top GOP member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will give him a say in issues related to Guantanamo Bay and military tribunals.