House Republicans have rescheduled the vote to repeal the health care law to next week.
The vote had initially been scheduled for this week. But the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. which killed six and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords grievously wounded, caused the House majority to put the controversial repeal vote on hold.
Laena Fallon, a spokesperson in the office of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, issued the following statement:
“As the White House noted, it is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill next week. Americans have legitimate concerns about the cost of the new health care law and its effect on the ability to grow jobs in our country. It is our expectation that the debate will continue to focus on those substantive policy differences surrounding the new law.”
The House's Republican leaders had to balance a respect for the raw emotions following the shooting versus the impatience among their political base for the quick action the lawmakers promised during the midterm campaign on a repeal.
The Los Angeles Times' Kathleen Hennessey reported on some of that Republican avidness for action:
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"This is not the serious getting-down-to-business in Congress that people voted for," said Andrew Ian Dodge, a tea party leader in Maine who said he had heard from other activists frustrated by the delay on the vote. "I think it's a mistake. It shows a sort of lack of spine and will and it's disappointing."
On Capitol Hill, the discussion fell along party lines.
"I think we should proceed as fast as we can and faster if possible," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).