GOP Leaders Confident About Defeating Health Bill

Posted January 13, 2010 at 11:36am

House Republican leaders displayed a new air of confidence Wednesday about being able to bring down the Democratic health care package that continues being hashed out behind closed doors.

“This health care bill can be defeated,— Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said at a press event. “We just spent the last hour going over our strategy on how to make sure we’re doing everything we can to stop this health care bill.—

Cantor said Republicans are honing in on 37 Democrats who are “particularly upset— about changes being made to the House health care bill and who are vulnerable to a GOP challenge this November.

“We’re going to go about the next week to two weeks … doing whatever we can to bring the Members in the middle on the other side over to us in opposition to this health care bill,— Cantor said.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who left a Republican conference meeting this morning to attend a funeral service, told Members that he believed Republicans were gaining momentum to kill the Democratic health care proposal.

“The bottom line is, I believe we can beat this bill,— Boehner said, according to a GOP aide at the event.

Republicans are leaning heavily on anti-abortion rights Democrats who previously vowed to only vote for the bill if it included language by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) preventing access to the procedure — and that provision may not end up in the final House-Senate package.

Cantor said GOP leaders are doing “everything we can to try and insist that those Members in support of the Stupak-Pitts amendment stand with us in opposition so we can defeat this health care bill.—

Asked if Republicans would be losing an ally if Stupak left the House to run for governor, Cantor described Stupak as a “moral compass— on the issue of abortion and said he “certainly look[s] to working with him to defeat this health care bill.—