He’s Glenn Beck’s pick for president. He’s loved by the Tea Party. And he’s not afraid to stand up to hecklers. But what you might not know about Rep. Allen West (R-FL), he’s also bucking his party on Obamacare. For example, he just voted against defunding it.
“What?” some just cried out audibly. It’s true. West not only was one of only four Republicans to vote against a measure that week that would strip $100 million in funding for the construction of school-based health centers.
And it wasn’t a mistake, slip of the finger, or accidental oversight. According to his office, he’s questioning the GOP’s strategy.
He “believes there are bigger funding issues to be focusing on right now including the numerous developments in the Middle East, concerning Pakistan and whether there is a link to [Osama bin Laden] and the recent unity agreement with the [Palestinian Authority] and Fatah and Hamas,” West spokeswoman Angela Sachitano told The Hill in an e-mail.
“He voted to repeal Obamacare, and it was dead on arrival in the Senate,” she added. “He questions what the goal is of chipping away like this if it’s almost certain that the Senate is not going to take it up.”
But according to The Hill, West hasn’t been completely opposed to all defunding efforts. A day before voting against defunding the school-based health centers, he did vote to strip funds from the state-based insurance exchanges created by Obamacare. The Hill says Sachitano declined to explain why he voted for one measure and not the other.
Earlier this year, West did vote to repeal the entire bill, and explained his decision in an interview:
While Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey can understand (slightly) what West is talking about, he sees a lot of problems with the Tea Party leader’s position. The biggest one? It could get him voted out of office.
“Tea Party activists warned that they would focus their ire on Republicans who got elected and then attempted to moderate their positions on ObamaCare, spending, and taxes,” Morrissey writes. “I wonder if anyone thought that one of the first they’d have to address would be Col. West?”
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)