Eric Cantor

GOP leaders delay ObamaCare vote in face of conservative discontent

by Pete Kasperowicz and Molly K. Hooper, The Hill  |  published on April 25, 2013

Lacking the votes, House Republican leaders on Wednesday postponed action on a bill that would have changed President Obama’s healthcare law.

The move was a blow to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who took the lead in pushing for the legislation, and represents yet another example of House GOP leaders struggling to convince the conservative wing of their conference to back controversial legislation.

The House was expected to debate the bill and consider amendments Wednesday afternoon. But moments after the House approved the rule to bring the measure to the floor, lawmakers were notified there would be no more votes the rest of the day.

House GOP aides said they would look to bring the bill back to the floor in May, though it remains to be seen how it can pass without the support of many conservatives and most, if not all, Democrats. The White House has vowed to veto the bill, in addition.

A Republican leadership source said Wednesday they were making progress in winning support for the bill, but were not there “yet.”

While leaders on Wednesday morning refused to predict whether they would prevail, Cantor said leaders were “forging ahead.”

The bill, crafted by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), would shift ObamaCare money to boost high-risk insurance pools. Along party lines, the Energy and Commerce Committee approved the legislation last week.

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