After a turbulent week of marathon negotiations to appease enough members of the House Republican caucus to support H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), leadership in the House of Representatives decided to scrap a vote on the bill roughly an hour before it was scheduled this afternoon. Throughout the day it became increasingly clear that Republicans did not have enough votes to reach the 215-vote threshold for passage in the chamber, with unofficial whip counts showing as many as 50 Republicans expected to vote against the package. The decision to not hold the vote was made by President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), both of whom made separate statements at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon that they will be working to figure out next steps, but that the ACA will remain for the foreseeable future.
President Trump noted that he would be open to attempting a repeal of the ACA again with continued failures of the current law. Ryan attributed the bill’s failure to win consensus today due to growing pains of learning how to govern instead of being the opposition party. He noted that “doing big things is hard” and that they would need to find ways for their members to say yes to the good even if it is not the perfect. He and the president agreed that the wise course of action would be to pull the bill and work to find ways to get consensus.