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Boehner to Headline Cao Fundraiser Tuesday

Louisiana Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao — the lone Republican to vote for the House-passed health care bill in November — is getting a fundraising boost from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is hosting an event for him on Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening.

The $500-per-person fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club comes as the House is moving toward a vote this week on the controversial legislation, and Democrats are furiously whipping to get the 216 votes needed to pass the bill. Cao is not expected to vote in favor of the measure this time around, and Democrats are criticizing him for voting with his party’s leadership.

Organizing for America, the grass-roots organization built out of President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, sent an e-mail to supporters urging them to call Cao and ask him to vote for the bill.

“In 2008, voters in Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district voted to send President Obama to Washington to fight for change — including for desperately needed health insurance reform,” OFA director Mitch Stewart wrote in the message. “They expected Republican Representative Joseph Cao to reach across the aisle to be a partner for change.”

Cao saw his fundraising dip in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the wake of the first health care vote. He raised about $250,000 that quarter after raising close to $400,000 in the third quarter and $370,000 in the second quarter.

Cao has said his initial support for the bill hinged on the issue of federal funding for abortion and that he won’t support the Senate-passed language that addresses the issue.

“I have conveyed to the White House that at this point I cannot support the agenda that’s being pushed because of the federal funding for abortion,” Cao said in an interview with CNN in late February. “Unless the abortion language changes, I cannot support the president’s program.”

Cao’s overwhelmingly Democratic district is Democrats’ top takeover target in the fall midterm elections.

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