It wasn’t for lack of effort, at least on the part of some conservative Republicans. As the House prepared to consider its own version of the continuing resolution last week — it ultimately passed 267 to 151 — more than two dozen conservative GOP lawmakers signed on to an amendment that would have defunded Obamacare. They submitted the amendment and hoped it would receive a vote but were stymied when the House leadership declared that no amendments would be allowed.
“If that amendment had gone to the floor, far and above a majority of the conference would have voted for it,” said Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, one of the supporters, in an interview Saturday. “I think everyone in the conference would have voted for it,” added Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, another supporter.
Nevertheless, the Republican leadership did not allow the amendment to be considered. And that, Salmon, DeSantis, and other conservative Republicans believe, is a measure of the leadership’s uneasiness with continuing the legislative fight against Obamacare. Some Republicans — lawmakers who might have felt pressure to vote to defund Obamacare — believe privately that the fight is essentially over, and that the GOP should come to terms with the reality of national health care.
“I do think there’s a feeling in the conference among some folks who think that the 2012 election settled Obamacare, that we kind of need to move on,” said DeSantis. “I’m on the other side. I don’t think it did, because I don’t think it was a major issue in the campaign.”
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