To be the Republican who sponsors the bill that dismantles a key pillar of Obamacare is worth powerful bragging rights in some circles. So it’s no wonder there would be a little competition to have that honor.
A staffer for Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) tried to lay claim, sending an e-mail Thursday night to an internal list of GOP staffers that she would be introducing a bill to repeal the health-care law’s mandate that requires businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance. He hoped their bosses would sign on as co-sponsors.
But the next morning, GOP staffers received an e-mail from the office of Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), letting them know that, lest there be any confusion, he would be introducing the legislation to repeal the employer mandate, as he had the previous two Congresses.
“Given that Congressman Boustany sits on [Ways and Means], which has jurisdiction over this issue, has been a long time champion of this issue, and has already built a coalition of interested stakeholders, we look forward to having your boss join as a cosponsor this Congress,” the Boustany staffer wrote.
That’s passive aggressive Capitol Hill speak for: Hands off my bill, Ellmers.
Ellmers has no intention of backing down in her effort though. Her spokesperson told the Loop that she could be introducing her bill as soon as this week. (The GOP-controlled House already jumped at the chance to start chipping away at the law last week.) Her staff has been in communication with Boustany’s to figure out how to add components to her bill that would “distinguish it from his.”
Now, now, guys. There will be plenty of opportunities to take your shot hatcheting Obamacare. Of course, if successful, the White House would promptly veto.
But it’s the thought that counts.