Cantor: Cao a 'firm no' on healthcare bill

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.) is a "firm 'no'" on Democrats' healthcare bill, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) stressed Friday.

Cantor, the GOP's chief vote-counter in the House, said that the first-term Louisiana Republican would oppose healthcare legislation after having voted with Democrats last fall, the only Republican lawmaker to do so.

"Yes, I have spoken to Joseph Cao as recently as an hour and a half ago," Cantor said in response to a question on whether Cao would oppose the bill.

"He is a firm 'no' against this bill," Cantor added.

All Republicans are seen as likely to end up opposing the health bill in a vote expected Sunday, now that Cao's vote is sewn up.

President Barack Obama and Democrats had reportedly been pressing Cao, a freshman Republican who won in a heavily-Democratic district, to reconsider his stance.

Cao, a former Catholic seminarian, has cited concerns over the bill's abortion provisions.