By Jason Millman - 03/30/11 08:40 PM EDT
A handful of House Republicans, looking for a new, powerful chip in their efforts to derail the healthcare reform law, are introducing a bill that would block more than $100 billion of long-term spending authorized by the overhaul.
Newly empowered House Republicans want to subject about $105 billion of the law's long-term authorized spending to the annual appropriations process, but it's unclear how they would get their plan through the Democratic-controlled Senate.
But some Republicans are raising a bill that would do just that in hopes they can use it for significant leverage down the road. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who's co-sponsoring the measure, said he hopes the bill will quickly gain between 100 and 150 co-sponsors.
"Then leadership will say this is something we may use in a negotiation, maybe we use it as a free-standing or another piece of legislation on Harry Reid's desk," Kingston said. "But if we do our job, we will give them another tool."
Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) recently circulated a letter trying to drum up support for using a continuing resolution to block the law's long-term appropriations. Just how many Republicans back the effort is still unclear because both Bachmann's and King's offices have refused to disclose how many members signed on.
Bachmann and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) are also backing the standalone bill with Kingston.