LITTLE ROCK — The top Republican in the House says lawmakers are planning to bring in a consultant to look at the state's Medicaid program.

House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman told reporters Monday that the House and Senate were discussing hiring a consultant and hoped to make an announcement later this week. Westerman said the House and Senate planned to use existing funds to hire the consultant, but didn't say which firm they planned on using.

The hire comes as lawmakers are weighing whether to expand Medicaid's eligibility under the federal health care law. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe supports the expansion, but faces resistance from the Republican-led House and Senate.

Westerman said GOP lawmakers want "another set of eyes" to look at the program.