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Bills to repeal health-care reform are failing to gain GOP traction

Hours after the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) made good on a promise and introduced a short bill that would repeal the whole thing. The goal, she explained, was to get every Republican to co-sponsor it.

About one month later, neither Bachmann's bill nor companion bills in the House and Senate have won majority support from their peers. Only 52 House Republicans have co-sponsored Bachmann's repeal bill, H.R. 4903, and only 62 House Republicans have co-sponsored Rep. Steve King's (Iowa) repeal bill, H.R. 4972. Most of the same people have co-sponsored both. Only 20 Republican senators have co-sponsored Sen. Jim DeMint's (S.C.) repeal bill, S. 3152. That worries some Republicans who want to run hard on repeal in November.

"What I run into," King told me recently, "is that you ask Republicans to support 100 percent full repeal, but there are a number of them that aren't committed to full repeal. They have an equivocation that they would leave a piece there, a piece there, a piece there. If Republicans cannot unanimously come together and support 100 percent repeal of Obamacare and then start to rebuild, then we will not win this victory, because we'll be divided by the Democrats and fighting on Obama's turf."

By David Weigel  |  April 28, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Congress , Health Care  
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