Update: Or maybe not. On Monday evening, the House adopted a rule for consideration of tonight’s continuing resolution with only six Republican “no” votes, of which only two came from moderates: Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
Business Insider asked Kevin Fogarty, spokesman for Rep. King, what happened to the moderate revolt that King was trumpeting. Fogarty replied: “You would have to ask the moderate offices that.”
Earlier: This evening, House Speaker John Boehner (R) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) are making their third attempt to get Obamacare changes in exchange for passing a continuing resolution to keep the government open.
They’re getting some opposition from the right, including the Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action, which don’t like the fact that the new plan wouldn’t defund Obamacare entirely.
But what’s new is that Republican moderates are threatening to vote against leadership’s plan because they do not want to have this fight over Obamacare. And those moderates may have enough votes to block the plan from passing.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has declared his intention to vote against the rule bringing tonight’s amendments to the floor. King spokesman Kevin Fogarty told Business Insider he has 25 other moderate Republicans with him against any further defund-Obamacare push on this continuing resolution.
Especially since some conservative members are likely to vote against the CR from the right, that spells big trouble for Boehner’s plan. Fogarty told Business Insider that Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), two of the House’s most hardline conservatives, were not among the count of 20-25 moderates. Both plan to vote “no” on the amendment.
Boehner can probably only afford 17 total Republican “no” votes, since only two Democrats are likely to vote with Republican leadership.
We’ve started to see rumblings of moderate Republican revolt this month. When the House passed a bill cutting the food stamp program by $US40 billion, 15 moderate Republicans balked on the grounds that the cuts were too big.
On Saturday, two moderate Republicans voted against amending the continuing resolution to delay Obamacare for a year, including its mandate that employer-provided health plans cover contraception.
One of those representatives, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), told Business Insider in an email, “as a lifelong and consistent supporter of women’s rights and health care, I do not support addressing divisive social issues such as access to birth control on a last-minute continuing resolution.”
On both food stamps and Saturday’s CR vote, moderates didn’t have enough votes to stop the House from pursuing an agenda driven by pressure from outside conservative groups. If King gets his way tonight, we’ll have found the force that can stop the Jim DeMint takeover of the House GOP.
But perhaps the really radical thing is not what King plans to do but how he’s talking about it. He told National Review:
“If Obamacare is as bad as we say it’s going to be, then we should pick up a lot of seats in the next election and we should win the presidency in 2016.”
If Obamacare is as bad as we say it’s going to be? That’s the kind of talk that makes Rush Limbaugh’s head explode.
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