By Elise Viebeck - 06/11/14 05:23 PM EDT
Outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made no mention of an ObamaCare replacement bill on Wednesday in another sign that the House may not pass an alternative before the August recess.
At a Capitol Hill press conference, Cantor failed to bring up future plans for healthcare as he discussed his legislative priorities for the next seven weeks, before he steps down as majority leader on July 31.
Passage of an ObamaCare alternative plan was already seen as unlikely despite numerous GOP promises to "repeal and replace" the healthcare law. A busy floor schedule and an imminent leadership transition further complicate the possibility.
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is already vying to replace Cantor against House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). Further down the chain, Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-La.) are competing for McCarthy's No. 3 spot.
Scalise, a leading House conservative, has been among the lawmakers pressing GOP leadership to move an ObamaCare alternative before the election. But it is unclear whether his ascension to leadership could actually propel the bill forward.
Other Republicans are wary of the political risks of passing a replacement bill and giving Democrats a target for criticism.