Posted: 3:59 pm Friday, March 24th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
Unable to convince GOP lawmakers to get on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans in the House decided not to even force a vote on the measure, a major setback for both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“This is a setback – no two ways about it,” said Speaker Paul Ryan, after he told GOP lawmakers that there were not enough votes.
“I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us,” Ryan added. “We came really close today, but we came up short.”
Speaker Ryan on pulling the American Health Care Act: "We came up short" https://t.co/WZrTpDMvJM
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 24, 2017
Down at the White House, President Trump took aim at Democrats, faulting them for not working with the GOP on a way to overhaul the Obama health law.
“We were very close,” Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office. “We had no votes from the Democrats.”
WATCH: Pres. Trump blames lack of support from Democrats for withdrawal of Obamacare replacement bill. pic.twitter.com/3bzySWrK5s
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 24, 2017
“This bill is dead,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who played a central role in cobbling together this plan.
"This bill is dead," House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Walden says
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) March 24, 2017
The bill never even came to a vote, as it became obvious that Republicans had nowhere near a majority of lawmakers ready to vote for it.
It was a stunning derailment of the Republican plan – central to their campaigns of recent years – to repeal and replace the Obama health law; the GOP plan had been unveiled on March 6 – and just 18 days later it was running aground.
Some Republicans though said the GOP should not give up, arguing it’s time to push forward to find a real solution on health care.
“I believe this bill will come back to the floor in a way that bridges philosophical gaps and stays true to the deliberative process so vital in producing good legislation,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC).
Democrats were more than happy to pile on the GOP legislative debacle.
“This is a win for the American people,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME).
“Time for an honest effort to strengthen our health insurance system,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
For now, the Obama health law isn’t going anywhere.
Ryan: "I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us"
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 24, 2017
“We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” said Speaker Ryan.