Daily Legislative Update
Daily Legislative Update – February 18, 2014
Arkansas House of Representatives Fails to Pass Private Option Funding Bill by 70-27 Vote
(Editor’s note: The following information was provided by Roby Brock of Talk Business)
UPDATE: The Arkansas House of Representatives voted on the funding bill that included the private option on Tuesday afternoon. The House failed to pass the measure by a 70-27 vote.
Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs), the House Majority Leader and a GOP candidate for the Fourth District Congress, spoke against the bill and the private option funding.
“Is Arkansas going to be an enabler of Obamacare?” Westerman said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Pres. Obama and the Obama administration is watching today so we can be their enablers.”
Westerman added, “Let’s make the courageous choice.. let’s say no.”
Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison), the former House Majority Leader and the political director for Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Cong. Tom Cotton, spoke for the measure.
“I would simply say let’s keep it as simple as possible,” said Burris. “The appropriation we have before is has a lot of what we can agree on. It accomplishes a policy that I believe has consensus.”
Other members speaking against the funding included Rep. Terry Rice (R-Waldron), a candidate for the State Senate, and Rep. Charlotte Douglas (R-Alma). Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena), who drafted the amendments to the funding bill that included the moratorium on state outreach efforts, spoke for the bill in its present form, but he was an opponent of the original measure. Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville) also spoke for the bill.
House leaders are expected to bring the measure up for consideration again.