Illinois GOP Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who called for the repeal of the new health care law when President Obama signed it in March, reaffirmed his opposition on Monday and said he will sign a "discharge petition" to try to get the House to reconsider.
Kirk, said after doing his "homework" on the matter he would be signing a discharge petition that will be filed by Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), expected at the end of July, a Herger spokesman said Tuesday.
Another repeal measure, by Rep. Steve King (D-Ia.) already circulating, as of July 1 had 109 signers, including Illinois GOP House members Judy Biggert, Peter Roskam, Don Manzullo and John Shimkus. It will take 218 signers to force a repeal measure to the House floor, unlikely at this stage.
Kirk commented at a Monday press conference in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, in reply to a question I asked. The Obama White House, in advance of the November elections, has been producing a variety of messaging events to highlight the upfront benefits of the health law, which passed with no GOP votes in the House and Senate last March.
Said Kirk, "I think that as Republicans and Americans we should be for healthcare reform, but the kind of reforms that I want to back don't weaken the finances of the federal government long-term with new spending. Don't make the kind of Medicare cuts that were mandated in the legislation of which now in other Illinois communities I heard very extensively about and do include a big missing item in the reform, which is lawsuit reform that should have been part of the package originally."
Kirk's reaffirming his opposition to Obama's health plan may win points with his GOP base and will hand Democrats ammunition to use against him.
Signing the discharge petition at this stage is mainly symbolic. Said Kirk, "these are Republican petitions, which in this Congress have no chance."