After much posturing and drama right down to the wire, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act from a floor vote to avoid an embarrassing, lop-sided defeat.
In a recent Quinnipiac poll, the legislation only had 17% support from the American people.
President Trump, the man who campaigned on his reputation as "master negotiator," and "the closer," couldn't close this deal. Although White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters over and over today that Trump "left everything on the field" to get the bill approved, not only did he not get the ball into the end zone, he whiffed on the kickoff.
Via The Hill:
“We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats,” Trump said, flanked by Vice President Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the Oval Office.
“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own ObamaCare,” the president added, referring to the House and Senate Democratic leaders.
But he said he would be “open” to working with Democrats on healthcare again if ObamaCare “explodes.” “When it explodes, which it will soon, if they got together with us and we got a real healthcare bill, I would be totally open to it, ” Trump said.
In truth, the effort failed because far-right Freedom Caucus House members didn't like the bill, even though concessions were made to pull in their votes.
I think Trump mentioned being "open" to working with the Democrats in the future as a way to let the Freedom Caucus know he could potentially go around them and instead work with more moderate Dems and Repubs.
Ultimately, I don't think the actual details of legislation is that important to Trump. I think he just wants to win and be popular. Perhaps this thumping might encourage him to work with the Democrats a bit.
But make no mistake, this was a loss; a loss for the guy who said folks were going to be "tired of winning, winning, winning."
Speaker Ryan took the loss in more manly manner, admitting the difficulties of being a "governing" party now.
From CBS News:
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the U.S. is “going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future” after he abruptly canceled a scheduled vote on the contentious Republican health care bill Friday. “Obamacare is the law of the land, and it will remain the law of the land until it’s replaced,” Ryan said.
“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains,” Ryan told reporters Friday afternoon. “We’re feeling those growing pains today.” The failure to bring the bill to a vote is a major embarrassment for President Trump, Ryan and congressional Republicans, who had vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act since its passage in 2010. “We came really close today, but we came up short,” Ryan said.
So, let's look at the scoreboard:
• Muslim ban failed twice
• National Security Adviser Mike Flynn resigned
• Mexico won't pay for the wall
• FBI investigating Trump & Russia
• No evidence of wire tap at Trump Tower
• Trumpcare failed