In a major defeat, House Republicans again pulled the American Health Care Act in advance of a floor vote after it became apparent it still did not have enough support to pass.
This is the second time in two days that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and President Donald Trump‘s signature bill to replace Obamacare, the American Healthcare Act, has been stopped before a vote and appears to be its death knell.
Trump reportedly called on Ryan to pull the bill once it became apparent that it lacked the support to pass the Republican-controlled House. NBC News national politics reporter Robert Costa was on the phone with Trump when the bill was pulled and said a vote in the future appears unlikely.
Costa on MSNBC: Trump says bill won’t be coming back in near future & he’ll see if the Dems want to work with him on healthcare.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 24, 2017
On Thursday, it was pulled about four hours before it was slated to go up for a vote. Friday afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that one of the reasons the bill was pulled initially was that they didn’t want the vote to occur into the early morning.
In reality, frantic Thursday morning negotiations were unable to reach a compromise with House Freedom Caucus, whose 40-some members withdrew support on Wednesday, in a fight over “Essential Health Benefits.”
After floor debate began on Friday, the bill was pulled unceremoniously in the midst of the discussion.
Earlier in the day, Ryan went to the White House, where he reportedly told the president he didn’t have enough support. According to sources, the White House had a one-word response to Ryan: “Vote.”
After the vote was called off, that account was disputed, with sources claiming the president wanted the bill pulled.
Leadership aide: "The speaker talked to the president at 3:00 today and the president asked the speaker to pull the bill."
— Liz Goodwin (@lizcgoodwin) March 24, 2017
Speaker Ryan has yet to comment on the decision to pull the bill from the floor.