Eric Cantor, Republican Underboss, is trying to move the needle on his personal “Stupid vs. Evil” (h/t Roy Edroso) axis. Dave Weigel, at Slate, at 9:39 this morning:
Last night I posted the text of the legislation Republicans will introduce to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The GOP’s legislation is not called the “Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” It is called the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” It’s ironic that this is submitted by incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, because, you’ll remember, he blamed the original Republican vote against TARP on the shrillness with which Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed the debate on the legislation.
Dave Weigel, reporting from “Speaker Pelosi’s Final Presser(Health Care Reform Won’t Be Repealed)”, at 11:07am:
Again and again, Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen, and the other Democrats at the pressure employed a conservative argument against repeal. They drafted legislation that, according to the CBO, would cut the deficit. Republicans could not promise that. Everything Democrats supported, Pelosi said, would have to pass the test of “whether it creates job, strengthens the middle class, and reduces the deficit.”
“They’re going to employ budget gimmicks to try and hide the cost of their actions,” said Van Hollen. “They’re going to engage in Enron-type accounting to argue that repeal won’t have that much of an impact on the deficit. They’re going to rely on flim-flam.”
More from Hoyer: “It seemed to me there were two compelling messages: We need to grow the economy and create jobs, and we need to do something about the deficit and the debt.”
So that’s the argument: HCR repeal might poll well, but they’re going to attack the GOP over how much it costs. They’re going to do so by presenting themselves as very considered about passing on debt, which is something Republicans will laugh off as long as they can get away with doing so.
Dave Weigel, 1:39pm: “Eric Cantor: Health Care Repeal Will Happen Because ‘It Was Litigated in the Last Election.'”
Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor faced off with a skeptical press corps this afternoon, defending the Republican majority’s plan to vote on repeal of health care reform even though it has no serious chance of getting through a Democratic-run Senate…
Several more questions about the strategy for the vote were answered the same way. “This was litigated in the last election,” said Cantor. He repeated that a few minutes later: “Most people out there believe that this health care bill has been litigated.”
Does it sound like Cantor was on message? He was. Asked whether a push on health care repeal would increase uncertainty about what laws could govern peoples’ health care decisions, Cantor suggested that Republicans would have an open debate on what they were replacing the law with. “The imperative is that we put a repeal bill across the floor,” said Cantor, “reflecting our willingness to listen to the American people.” …
One thing Republicans have not done as they tee up repeal is provide a score or an economic analysis of how much repeal would cost or save — Democrats point to their CBO score and say the GOP response would blow up the deficit.
“I think most people understand the CBO did job it was asked to do by the then-Democratic majority,” said Cantor, “and it was really apples to oranges. Everybody knows that beyond the 10-year window this has the potential to bankrupt the federal budget and the states.”