Early in March after the Affordable Care Act passed, Republicans trumpeted their plan to run this November on repealing the whole shebang. Newt Gingrich declared on “Meet the Press” that “every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.” That was right before most of those running for reelection realized what a risky business running on repeal was. But common sense has begun to sink in.
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.
One Republican representative from Missouri, and only one of the five, is a co-sponsor. Based solely on the question of whether bleating about repeal might hurt a rep electorally, you could just about guess who it is. That’s got to be Akin, right? Luetkemeyer is just as wackadoodle, but his district isn’t as safe. Blunt’s in a tight race, and Emerson’s got a credible challenger. Graves is safe, too, so maybe he’s just a little less looney than Akin–who is, let’s face it, the bull goose looney.
Even Akin is only signed on as a co-sponsor to the King bill. Who knows why? Maybe he doesn’t like Bachmann much, or maybe there’s some fine policy distinction between the two bills that only a wingnut can appreciate.
As for the Senate, Bond isn’t running so he can do whatever he damn well pleases on this one. Take a guess which way he prefers to play it.
There are 178 Rs in the House and just over a third of them are co-sponsors. On the other hand, almost half the senators are co-sponsoring this effort. But then again, 2/3 of those senators aren’t up for re-election this year.