Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress
controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation
to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign
promise of the president and his allies.
leaders of the House of Representatives pulled the legislation due to a
shortage of votes despite desperate lobbying by the White House and its
allies in Congress, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative
initiative since taking office on Jan. 20 ended in failure.
Republicans had planned a vote on the measure after Trump late on
Thursday cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the
plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose.
moderates as well as the most conservative lawmakers had objected to
the legislation. The White House and House leaders were unable to come
up with a plan that satisfied both moderates and conservatives, despite
Trump’s vaunted image as a deal maker.
learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote-getting
process,” Trump told reporters at the White House, although he sought to
shift the blame to the Democrats, who were unified in their opposition,
even though his party controls the White House, the House and the
Amid a chaotic scramble for
votes, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who championed the
bill, met with Trump at the White House before the bill was pulled from
the House floor after hours of debate. Ryan said he recommended that the
legislation be withdrawn from the House floor because he did not have
the votes to pass it, and that Trump agreed.
were things in this bill that I didn’t particularly like,” Trump added,
without specifying what those were, but expressed confidence in Ryan’s
“Perhaps the best thing
that could happen is exactly what happened today, because we’ll end up
with a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess known
as Obamacare explodes,” Trump said.
Friday’s events cast doubt on whether Ryan can get major legislation approved by fractious Republican lawmakers.
will not sugarcoat this. This is a disappointing day for us,” Ryan said
at a news conference, adding that his fellow Republicans are
experiencing what he called “growing pains” transitioning from an
opposition party to a governing party.
“Doing big things is hard,” Ryan added, noting that he got close but failed to muster the 216 votes needed to pass it.