Expanding Medicaid coverage without legislative approval. Virginia Republicans say Governor McAuliffe lacks the legal authority to do it. GOP lawmakers commissioned an analysis of state law by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who says Virginia’s Constitution makes clear that the governor does not have the unilateral authority to expand Medicaid. The Speaker of the House of Delegates, Bill Howell (pictured), says McAuliffe’s actions are a power grab and the GOP is ready to pursue all routes to stop it, including legal action. McAuliffe said last week he plans to expand publicly financed health care for the poor and wants to bring in federal Medicaid funds to provide that care. He’s not yet detailed how he plans to do so without legislative approval.