House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014 could prevent the Senate from smoothly passing a clean funding bill.
“Remember this puts the Democrats … in a tough position,” Cantor said on Fox News Thursday night. “ObamaCare has huge impacts in those states. These are Democratic senators who are up for reelection. Let’s see how they respond because they also have to be held to account for ObamaCare.”
Cantor specifically called out Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (La.). They all hail from red states that President Obama lost in last year’s presidential election.
Other Republicans in the House have argued a similar point, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who said vulnerable Democrats would be committing “political suicide” if they voted against defunding ObamaCare.
However, those Democrats have balked at the assertion that they would join Republicans in the fight. They all said they opposed that approach in The Huffington Post on Thursday.
Cantor said the House GOP has been leading the charge to defend ObamaCare, but they are now handing it over to the Senate. He said he is giving Cruz and other Senate Republicans what they want.
“We have actually given them what they want because this bill is coming over to them, and I know, and I support the fact that they are going to leave no stone unturned to stop this bill and to stop ObamaCare,” he said.
The House is set to vote Friday on legislation that would fund the government through Dec. 15 but would also defund ObamaCare.
Senate Democrats plan to strip the ObamaCare defunding language from the measure and send a clean government funding bill back to the House.
Cruz said Thursday that he is willing to use any procedural technique he can, including a filibuster, to keep the defunding language in the bill.
But Senate Democrats have devised a plan to vote on stripping the ObamaCare provision from the spending bill with a simple majority vote, which could complicate a Cruz-led filibuster.
Cantor failed to spell out the House’s next move if the Senate sends a clean bill back.
“Lets not assume anything here,” he said.