Last week, ThinkProgress reported that Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) effort to sign up members to his discharge petition — a legislative maneuver to force a vote on repealing health reform — appeared to be gaining steam. Many right-wing House Republicans quickly signed the petition, followed by more moderate members, like Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI).
But King’s petition seems to have lost momentum. No new members have signed onto the petition in the last week, and members who have wavered on repeal, like Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), still have yet to sign on. At a town hall in Mayville, Wisconsin on Tuesday, Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) told ThinkProgress that he would not be interested in joining King’s repeal crusade, preferring rather to make changes to the law later:
TP: Do you support the proposals floated by people like Steve King who say, ‘we’ve got to repeal health reform.’ He has a discharge petition but he says he’ll file another piece of legislation after the midterms as well. Would you support that type of effort?
PETRI: I think we need to redo health reform and change a lot of it. I’m not in favor of repealing every last thing in it. I’m sure out of those two thousand pages, there are one or two things that make a lot of sense. I thought, frankly, the effort to try to help people who did not have health reform coverage because of preexisting coverage and the like was worth making.
While Petri at least values some aspects of health reform, King and his cohorts have explicitly said they want to repeal every last part of the law, including the ban on preexisting coverage discrimination. King has repeatedly called out his fellow Republicans who only want to repeal “the most egregious” parts of health reform, arguing that true conservatives should favor a “100% repeal.”