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“Instead of hearing from their constituents, they are hiding behind closed doors and crafting what can only be another plan to hijack the budget by once again refusing to expand access to quality affordable health care for 400,000 working Virginians,” said party spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.

A day earlier, Mr. Howell spoke at an event hosted by the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The state Chamber of Commerce supports Medicaid expansion and has called for the issue to be separated from the budget.