The Arizona House of Representatives met in full session Tuesday afternoon, and many were poised for another legislative battle over Gov. Jan Brewer's proposal to expand Medicaid.
But after less than 30 minutes in session and votes on two unrelated pieces of legislation, Speaker Andy Tobin adjourned the chamber until Thursday.
"Members, be prepared to do a lot of work - Thursday 10 a.m.," Tobin said as he banged the gavel.
Several Republicans said they were ready to join all 24 House Democrats in forcing an amendment and vote Tuesday or Wednesday on Medicaid expansion.
The amendment to add Medicaid expansion to the budget would be needed by supporters after the House Appropriations Committee on Monday rejected the Senate-passed budget bill that contained it. The vote was 7-4, with all Republicans voting in the majority.
Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Tucson, has said that he and seven other Republicans were prepared to join the Democrats for a coalition majority for passage. That would be similar to how the measure passed the Senate, where all 13 Democrats and six Republicans voted in favor.
The Associated Press reported that moderate Republicans who support Medicaid met with Tobin Tuesday morning, but they departed without comment. Tobin doesn't support Brewer's proposal.
Tobin said he didn't bring Medicaid to the floor Tuesday because more time was needed to prepare the package of budget bills that it will be a part of, the AP reported.
House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, complained afterward in a tweet: "Speaker Tobin just pulled a fast one in House and adjourned till Thurs. Enough games. The will of majority is being subverted."
Brewer has said the expansion would bring billions in federal money to Arizona under the Affordable Care Act, providing health care to 300,000 poor Arizonans and be an economic stimulus.
Opponents have said federal debt is already too high and they fear the federal government will withdraw its financial support, leaving the state stuck with paying for the care or dropping people once again from the health care roles.