Just in case you had any doubt — as it seems some conservatives did — House Republican leadership is committed to taking every possible step, even symbolic steps, to repeal health care reform.
On Fox News last night, guest host Laura Ingraham pressed GOP Whip Eric Cantor to commit to putting a repeal bill on the floor at the very start of the next Congress if Republicans take the House. Cantor was completely game. “Absolutely I will pledge to do that! Are you kidding? Of course!” he said. But he also acknowledged that, even if Republicans could pass a repeal bill, it would face a veto, so he and his colleagues will take intermediate steps.
“How are we going to have a comprehensive strategy to ensure that a trillion dollar take over of our health care in this country does not occur,” Cantor said. “And it’s got to go forward on all fronts full throttle. We’ve got to make sure, initially, that we are defunding every bit of the regulations process.”
Republicans haven’t exactly been shy about saying that defunding health care may be easier than repealing it. The problem they’re facing is that their base sees that admission of political reality — Obama is still President — as excuse making.
In the past Republican leaders have suggested that their supporters might be forgiving of that fact. But it doesn’t really look that way right now.
Watch Cantor’s segment below.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.