House Republicans, short of votes, withdraw health care bill

While Trump threatened that anyone voting against the bill wouldn't be re-elected in 2018, the libertarian Koch brothers countered they would set aside millions to defend members voting no, claiming Ryan's bill didn't go far enough. He also claimed that "I've never said repeal and replace Obamacare within 64 days", a surprising statement considering he vowed to do so "on day one" almost every night on the campaign trail.

Repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare was a major plank of Mr Trump's election campaign. He followed up Saturday, adding a more optimistic twist: "ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE".

It was unclear whether the bill might be rescheduled, although Trump told the Washington Post, "We just pulled it".

"I think we have to let Obamacare go its way for a while and see how things go".

He also said he was surprised and disappointed by the opposition from the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives who prevented Republicans from using their majority in the House to pass the legislation.

"Doing big things is hard", said Ryan. Ryan said he and the Trump administration "came very close, but we did not get that consensus". The country will just know President Trump and the damage being done. "I wish I had a better answer for you". "He agreed with me", Ryan said. The bill was withdrawn just minutes before the House vote was to occur, and lawmaker said there were no plans to revisit the issue. "Trump's got to learn a lot". "He's a dealmaker. He knows how to do deals and there's no deal here", said Ed Cox, chairman of NY state's Republican party, who has known Trump for decades, sometimes as friend, sometimes as foe.

Republicans can only afford to lose two members in the Senate vote, and more than a dozen have expressed deep skepticism of the House's bill.

Burning Obamacare to the ground was always a House Republican obsession that Trump, in the heat of the campaign, took up to spite the president while tossing a little red meat to Republicans. There was some dispute over whether it was his idea or Mr. Trump's.

Mr Ryan was earlier reported to have told Mr Trump there were not enough votes to pass the bill. The Obama law was approved in 2010 with no Republican votes.

Further complicating matters, Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rodney Frelinghuysen said he could not support the bill, a major blow to Republican efforts to pass the legislation.

"In addition to the loss of Medicaid coverage for so many people in my Medicaid-dependent state, the denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues".

Trump sought to shift the blame to the Democrats, who were united in their opposition, even though his party controls the White House, the House and the Senate.

The Congressional debate kicked off Friday morning, with a vote expected late in the afternoon after President Trump cut off negotiations Thursday night and demanded an immediate decision.

The vote was delayed on Thursday, prompting Mr Trump to give Republicans an ultimatum that if they did not vote for the bill the Affordable Care Act would remain in place.

After shrugging, Trump said: "We'll have to see".

In the past, his biggest political fear has been a primary challenge from the right, yet the slight hint of Trump-fueled challengers to those opposed to the bill did not sway Joyce.

Trump now wants to turn to tax reform, an ambitious, complicated plan at the center of his agenda, and he does so wounded by the health care collapse as well as the uncertain legal status of his travel ban and an ongoing federal investigation into possible contacts and coordination between his campaign aides and Russian officials.

  • Zachary Reyes