Conservative House Members Say GOP Leaders 'Deceived' Them

Image: Conservative House Members Say GOP Leaders 'Deceived' Them Rep. Matt Salmon, left, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 06:36 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A group of fiscal conservatives in the House took the GOP leadership to task Wednesday for pushing through — by voice vote — a bill that insures continued payments for physicians under Medicare, The Hill reported.

The measure pumps $21 billion over three years to patch a 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians, rural hospitals, and other providers,  Fox News reported.

The Senate passed the bill 64-35 and President Barack Obama has signed it into law.

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., said he felt "deceived" by the procedure. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., who is a physician, did not object to passage but said he was frustrated by the process that did not require a roll call vote of the full House.

The measure passed the House last Thursday after the leadership of both parties decided it was the best way to expedite the process before the House adjourned for the weekend. Normally a two-thirds vote is required to fast track a bill, Fox News reported.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told fellow members of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus, that some Democrats opposed the Medicare bill but would have blamed Republicans had the issue not be fixed. Under the circumstances, "the least bad" option, Cantor told the group, was the voice vote, according to The Hill.

Conservatives lauded Cantor for responding to their concerns. "I thought it was a satisfactory meeting," said South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, though he remained doubtful about how the bill would be paid for.

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