GOP Angst Grows Over Leadership Fumbles
Several members of the GOP deputy whip team said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) alerted Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) last week that there were not enough votes to pass a bill aimed at revamping a portion of ObamaCare.
Regardless, sources said Cantor — who has been pushing for a kinder, gentler GOP national image — opted to move the measure forward. It passed the Rules Committee Tuesday night after being cleared by the Energy and Commerce panel on a party-line vote last week.
But lacking the votes, GOP leaders on Wednesday had to pull the bill, which would have transferred funds from the Affordable Care Act to pay for an extension of the high-risk federal insurance pool for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Cantor’s office maintains that the measure could come up again in May, though GOP lawmakers are very skeptical that it will get a vote in the House this year. Democrats strongly oppose the measure, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and attracted a White House veto threat earlier this week.
One veteran Republican lawmaker said of the decision to hold a vote on the controversial measure: “They’ve lost their minds.”
Cantor’s office on Thursday disputed any split with McCarthy.