Eric Cantor

Politico reported earlier in the day that they would leave out any language from the continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the year that would block funding for implementation of the health care law. Anonymous aides said this was necessary, given the need for the President to be able to sign the law and fund the government.

Just a few hours later, Eric Cantor said in a press availability that, in fact, the continuing resolution out of the House would include that restriction on implementation funds.

“I expect to see one way or the other, the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for [ObamaCare],” Cantor told reporters at his weekly press availability Tuesday.

In order for both things to be correct, you have to remember that Cantor expects the CR to have an open amendment process. “One way or the other,” some House Republican will offer an amendment to block those funds, and given the posture of the House Republican caucus, it would be almost impossible for any of them to vote against it.

Cantor is not, as Brian Beutler notes, promising that the final CR will have that restriction. He’s only saying that the House bill will. That would have to be merged with a Senate version in a form the President can sign. The fact that Cantor won’t even promise that the restriction on implementation funds will come in the original bill speaks to how much of a priority it is for the House leadership. I think they’re more inclined to protect their $32 billion in cuts – $68 billion less than promised in the Pledge to America – than to stick their necks out on health care implementation.

So far, the Republican House has shown an penchant to do pretty much nothing other than pass a few posturing bills that have no chance of becoming law. They seem to be interested more in pleasing all factions of their base without alienating anyone else, particularly independents, and nothing preserves approval ratings like doing absolutely nothing. So I don’t think they’re willing to go to the mats for this, or anything else really. It will be up to their own tea party caucus to see if they can put up with a leadership completely unwilling to meet their promises and demands.

Politico reported earlier in the day that they would leave out any language from the continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the year that would block funding for implementation of the health care law. Anonymous aides said this was necessary, given the need for the President to be able to sign the law and fund the government.

Just a few hours later, Eric Cantor said in a press availability that, in fact, the continuing resolution out of the House would include that restriction on implementation funds.

“I expect to see one way or the other, the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for [ObamaCare],” Cantor told reporters at his weekly press availability Tuesday.

In order for both things to be correct, you have to remember that Cantor expects the CR to have an open amendment process. “One way or the other,” some House Republican will offer an amendment to block those funds, and given the posture of the House Republican caucus, it would be almost impossible for any of them to vote against it.

Cantor is not, as Brian Beutler notes, promising that the final CR will have that restriction. He’s only saying that the House bill will. That would have to be merged with a Senate version in a form the President can sign. The fact that Cantor won’t even promise that the restriction on implementation funds will come in the original bill speaks to how much of a priority it is for the House leadership. I think they’re more inclined to protect their $32 billion in cuts – $68 billion less than promised in the Pledge to America – than to stick their necks out on health care implementation.

So far, the Republican House has shown an penchant to do pretty much nothing other than pass a few posturing bills that have no chance of becoming law. They seem to be interested more in pleasing all factions of their base without alienating anyone else, particularly independents, and nothing preserves approval ratings like doing absolutely nothing. So I don’t think they’re willing to go to the mats for this, or anything else really. It will be up to their own tea party caucus to see if they can put up with a leadership completely unwilling to meet their promises and demands.

David Dayen

David Dayen