U.S. congressional Republicans will try to repeal President Barack ­­­­Obama’s health care law next year, but their leader in the Senate acknowledged Thursday they will likely have to settle for far more modest changes.

Two days after Republicans scored big victories in congressional elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took a hard line against Obama’s landmark law and showed no sign of compromise when the new Congress opens for business in January. “We can and should propose and vote on straight repeal repeatedly” of the health ­­care law, he said.

McConnell’s remarks acknowledged that Obama would veto such legislation, which probably would be blocked by the president’s fellow Democrats in the Senate anyway.

More realistically, McConnell said Republicans, who will hold a majority in next year’s House of Representatives, should aim to hobble the health care law by “denying funds for implementation” of the measure. Annual spending bills for agencies, including ones that implement the health care law, are normally written first in the House.