Rehberg’s Rising Profile

By Beacon Staff

The Flint Report has already pointed out this story. POLITICO is reporting that Republicans in the House may propose an amendment to defund health care reform. And guess who may be tapped to propose it?

Republican leaders are leaning toward allowing Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg — head of the subcommittee that holds the purse strings for the nation’s health care apparatus, who’s running for the Senate against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester — to offer an amendment on the floor during debate that would choke off funding. This would provide a second opportunity for an up-or-down vote on the health care bill — the House already voted to repeal it earlier this session.

But the potential Rehberg choice is already ruffling some feathers within the House Republican Conference. Iowa Rep. Steve King, who said he considers Rehberg a “friend,” feels slighted by party leaders because he thinks they co-opted his health care repeal language without giving him credit.

Despite some pushback, the move could certainly raise Rehberg’s profile a bit and be used to counter some criticism from the left that he hasn’t accomplished much in Congress. Since the Tester/Rehberg race is considered a marquee matchup in 2012 that could determine who controls the Senate, it will be interesting to see if both men begin taking on larger roles in their respective parties.

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