Topics: Obamacare

Senate conservatives argue Cantor plan is cover for red state Democrats

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Conn Carroll,Obamacare,Senate,House of Representatives,Republican Party,Democratic Party,Harry Reid,Rand Paul,Ted Cruz,Syria,Eric Cantor

Not only do Senate conservatives believe that the latest government funding legislation from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., doesn't do enough to defund Obamacare, they also say it will undermine Republican chances to take the Senate in 2014.

Under Cantor's plan, the House would pass two separate bills: a continuing resolution that funds all of the federal government including Obamacare, and a resolution that amends the CR to defund Obamacare.

Both bills would be brought to the floor under a rule that would force the Senate to reject the Obamacare defunding CR before it could send the clean CR to President Obama.

House leadership believes this gimmick is necessary to get vulnerable Senate Democrats on the record supporting a fully funded Obamacare.

But conservative Senate aides point out that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, already accomplished this in March during the last CR fight, when he introduced an amendment that would have defunded Obamacare for this fiscal year.

So at best, Cantor's gimmick accomplishes nothing.

Worse, it may give red state Democrats an opportunity to cast a vote for defunding Obamacare, thus giving them cover for the 2014 campaign.

Senate conservatives do not expect that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will need every Democrat vote to defeat the Obamacare defunding resolution, so that will allow red state Democrats to cast a vote that better suits their state.

"It is bad enough they don't support our strategy," one conservative senate aide said, "but do they have to actively undermine it too?"

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