33 House Rs: Budget or Medicaid

Published by Karen Langley on .

Thirty-three House Republicans have signed onto a letter saying they are ready to vote no on the main appropriations bill if any part of the budget package includes Medicaid expansion.

Senate Republicans have been working on a proposal to expand Medicaid if certain conditions are met.

The House approved its budget bill 108-92 on a strict party-line vote, with three Republicans absent. So a bloc of 33 means something.

Earlier this week, dozens of House Republicans held a press conference to protest expansion.

In a letter dated Thursday, a smaller group of members said: "We believe that we have a duty to stand with the taxpayers of Pennsylvania during the budget process and reject any inclusion or any element of this expansion that is part of this budget."

"As such, we are prepared to vote no on the General Appropriation bill if any component of the budget expands Medicaid."

Southwestern PA signatories include: Mark Mustio of Moon, Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry, Eli Evankovich of Murrysville, Tim Krieger of Delmont and Jim Christiana of Beaver County.


Update 6:45 p.m.:

It sounds like this readiness to vote no is meant as a commitment to do so. Krieger's office put out a press release entitled: "Krieger, state lawmakers pledge to vote against Medicaid expansion."

Rep. Matt Gabler, another signatory, said in a Capitol stairwell: "Medicaid expansion does not belong in the budget, and that does make the budget a dealbreaker."

And Rep. Stephen Bloom said in an email that he meant his signature as "a commitment to vote no if budget package includes Medicaid expansion."

Senate Republicans are still preparing for a possible committee vote this evening.

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