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Ryan healthcare bill on life support after House Freedom Caucus pulls out

Some of the staunchest Republicans are no longer in favor of it.


David Covucci


One of the largest blocs of conservatives in the House of Representatives announced it could not support Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act, signaling a major blow to the legislation that is supposed to replace Obamacare.

The statement comes just a day after President Donald Trump went to Congress and told Republicans they could expect to lose their congressional races in 2018 if they did not support the legislation.

His urges apparently went ignored.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), head of the Freedom Caucus, said to reporters today that the votes weren’t there, at least not with enough certainty to swing his group.

“The opposition is still strong. They don’t have the votes to pass this tomorrow. We believe that they need to start over and do a bill that actually reduces premiums,” he told Fox News.

A spokesperson for the organization, Alyssa Farah, tweeted after the proclamation that the caucus was certain it had 25 votes against Ryan’s bill.

Republicans have a 47-person majority in the House, but given the expected vote count, a 25-person bloc of “No” votes could very likely sink the bill. On Fox News, Ryan said he intends to charge ahead, insisting that the final tally wasn’t assured, calling Trump a fantastic closer who personally switched 10 votes yesterday.

“The president has been bringing members down and talking to members and closing the deal. This is so encouraging—we’ve never seen this kind of presidential engagement with our members before—President Trump and Vice President Pence are rolling up their sleeves,” Ryan told Fox News.

Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he intended to move as quickly as possible if he gets a House bill, getting it to a vote without any hearings.

“We’re not slowing down,” he said, via Politico. “We will reach a conclusion on healthcare next week. We’ll either pass something that will achieve a goal that we’ve been working on. Or not.”

Some observers are taking McConnell’s statements to mean that he thinks the bill will assuredly fail in the Senate, and he’d rather get it over quickly to avoid any drawn out spectacle. A vote on Ryan’s bill is scheduled for Thursday night.

H/T the Hill

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