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Tea Party Favorite Allen West Breaks With GOP Over Health Care Strategy

Not everyone in the Tea Party Caucus is agreeing with the House GOP’s strategy of trying to attack the Affordable Care Act piece by piece:

A Tea Party favorite in the House is turning against the Republican leadership’s strategy on healthcare.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who has emerged as an outspoken conservative voice among GOP freshmen, cast a surprising vote last week against a bill to scrap part of the 2010 healthcare overhaul. The legislation would repeal $100 million in funding for the construction of school-based health centers. West was one of just four Republicans to vote against the measure, which passed 235-191.

West spokeswoman Angela Sachitano said in an email that the congressman “believes there are bigger funding issues to be focusing on right now including the numerous developments in the Middle East, concerning Pakistan and whether there is a link to [Osama bin Laden] and the recent unity agreement with the [Palestinian Authority] and Fatah and Hamas.”

He also questioned the House’s continued efforts to dismantle the healthcare law on a piecemeal basis, she said.

“He voted to repeal Obamacare, and it was dead on arrival in the Senate,” Sachitano said. “He questions what the goal is of chipping away like this if it’s almost certain that the Senate is not going to take it up.”

A day earlier, West voted in favor of a GOP bill to strip funds from the state-based insurance exchanges created by the 2010 healthcare law. Sachitano would not say why West supported that bill but not the second measure targeting school health centers.

Perhaps this has something to do with it:

West’s district in south Florida includes two applicants for federally-funded school-based health centers: North Broward Health District and the Palm Beach County Health Department. Neither entity returned calls on Friday.

Sachitano said there was “no specific local issue” for his opposition to the bill.

Of course, West’s email is correct in itself. It’s kind of pointless for the House to keep passing bills that it knows the Senate isn’t going to take up.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    A Tea Party favorite in the House is turning against the Republican leadership…..

    Nothing new about that. The Republican leadership would rather see a Democrat elected than a Tea Party member.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  2. Eric Florack says:

    I generally like West, (and note a movement to draft him for the next general election) but I think he’s off base here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Axel Edgren says:

    Republicans rail against government but they want some of that stimulus money and the other reelection helpers just the same. Of course, none of them are human beings but Rovians instead, so this is to be expected.

    Anyway, I like that they broke the guys spirit and made him give up on sending useless repeal bills to the senate. Making scum like West give up on pathetic symbolic efforts to satisfy the teepers is impressive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Eric,

    Actually he’s showing a pragmatic side I wasn’t sure he had, which is good.

    And, by the way, the idea of Allen West being anywhere near ready to be President is fundamentally silly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Southern Hoosier says:

    Doug Mataconis says: Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 17:41

    Eric,

    Actually he’s showing a pragmatic side I wasn’t sure he had, which is good.

    And, by the way, the idea of Allen West being anywhere near ready to be President is fundamentally silly.

    He’s probably more qualified then Comrade Obama was when he took office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. An Interested Party says:

    He’s probably more qualified then Comrade Obama was when he took office.

    Awww…I’m sure Alan Keyes is more qualified too…life’s just so unfair…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Hey Norm says:

    Comrade president is only a little dumber than he who poses it…
    The private sector is growing and the public sector is shrinking…so these socialism dreams are crazy… But consider the source.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Southern Hoosier says:

    Don’t forget Herman Cain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Eric Florack says:

    Awww…I’m sure Alan Keyes is more qualified too…life’s just so unfair…

    Heh.. the sad fact s, Keys, for all that he represents was indeed more qualified despite obvious issues.

    Actually he’s showing a pragmatic side I wasn’t sure he had, which is good.

    I’m unconvinced, since I view pragmatism as how the GOP became a group of also-rans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Kylopod says:

    >He’s probably more qualified then Comrade Obama was when he took office.

    When he took office, Obama had served four years in the Senate and eight years in the Illinois legislature.

    West has so far served four months in the House of Representatives.

    But if you want to believe that makes him more qualified, feel free to pass the joint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Southern:

    Every time you write “Comrade Obama” you sound ignorant and stupid. I’m sure you think you’re making some kind of point, but what comes across is that you know nothing about history, nothing about economics, and that you’re poorly brought-up to boot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Axel Edgren says:

    since I view pragmatism as how the GOP became a group of also-rans.

    Yes! Because it is not obvious to anyone except freepers that the GOP has been turning right-ward at every opportunity since 2000 and is famous for trenchant and solid message and policy concordance within the party!

    To a person on the extreme end of the spectrum, any position except one’s own is pragmatic, crass and selling out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. mattb says:

    He’s probably more qualified then Comrade Obama was when he took office.

    I don’t necessarily agree with this statement, but regardless of that, this sentiment it misses an important point:

    2008 was an election where a standing president wasn’t running. In 2010, the GOP will be running against an Obama that has been president for almost four years. So while folks might have more experience than Candidate Obama, it’s really difficulty to argue they have more experience as president than President Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    Every time you write “Comrade Obama” you sound ignorant and stupid.

    From here on out I will refer to SH as “Grand Dragon Southern Hoosier.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0