In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Virginia GOP Blocks Medicaid Expansion After Democrat Resigns

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AP Photo / BOB BROWN

Medicaid expansion would cover up to 400,000 low-income Virginians.

Republicans now control both chambers of the Virginia legislature after Democratic state Sen. Phillip Puckett resigned this week. Reports had suggested that he stepped down in exchange for a seat on the state tobacco commission and a judgeship for his daughter.

Puckett withdrew his name for consideration for the commission's job after criticism of the alleged deal, but still resigned -- giving Republicans the votes they needed in the Senate to pass a budget without Medicaid expansion. The Senate and House had previously been at a standoff over that key piece of Obamacare, with the former pushing an alternative expansion plan and the latter refusing to consider it.

The budget will now head to McAuliffe's desk, with a government shutdown looming on July 1 if a new spending plan has not been fully approved.

“When this budget reaches my desk I will evaluate it carefully and take the actions that I deem necessary, but this fight is far from over," McAuliffe said in a statement. "This is the right thing to do for Virginia, and I will not rest until we get it done.”

About The Author

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Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.