House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) gave, perhaps, the strongest indication to date that Republican leadership views the upcoming bipartisan health care summit as a forum to rail against Democratic-authored legislation rather than contribute to it.
Speaking before the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, the Virginia Republican pledged to "hand down an indictment of the Democrat's bill" during the February 25th meeting with Congressional leadership and the White House. He then went on to suggest that the legislation being worked on currently by President Barack Obama was a path to a full government takeover, a giveaway to special interests, and potentially unconstitutional.
"Lord only knows what's up their sleeves...What we will do in encountering this president is, number one, ask the question why in the world would he support a bill like those that have come out of the Senate and the House. These bills are flawed by their very nature. They are the bills that America has awakened to and have rejected."
"These bills are predicated upon backdoor dealing. They are predicated upon requiring the purchase of health care insurance that has a questionable constitutional origin. These bills are ultimately designed to lead this country to a single payer system, something that the American people reject."
Cantor insisted that the only way Democrats and Republicans will come to agreement is if the president "push the reset button" on health care legislation. "We will say no," to his bill, he added, "because that's what the American people want."