Hoyer gives Rs a substitute ... with a catch

House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) said that Republicans will have a shot at passing a substitute healthcare bill when the lower chamber debates the landmark legislation late next week.

But, there's a catch: The Republicans have to have their alternative scored by the CBO and posted online at least 72 hours before being considered on the floor.

Hoyer gave the news to his GOP counterpart Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) during the end of the week colloquy on the floor Thursday night.

Republicans have insisted that they "will be ready" with ideas to include in legislation that the leaders put forward as a substitute to the Democratic bill.

Hoyer's conditions that the GOP alternative have a "score" adds an unanticipated wrinkle to the minority party's plans. But, the majority leader pledged to push for the CBO to move on a GOP alternative as soon as it is ready.

It's unclear however, when the Republicans will be ready with their leadership-endorsed bill. At least 30 GOP lawmakers have introduced healthcare measures to date but, an alternative offered by the Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price, H.R. 3400, has garnered the most co-sponsors of the lot.

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