WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican leaders canceled a vote in the House on Thursday on the plan to replace ObamaCare.
“It didn’t look like today was going to be when we’re going to vote,” Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told a waiting throng of reporters after leaving a meeting with committee chairs and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on the matter.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) echoed his colleague’s comments just before the delay was formally announced.
“I don’t think we’ll vote today. Just because we planned, like, what, five hours of debate. That puts it pretty late into the night,” said Walden.
According to Republican leaders, the bill failed to gather enough support to bring it to a successful vote. The delay proved a major setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who helped to author the bill, and and for President Trump, who campaigned heavily on a pledge to repeal and replace the controversial health care mandate.
Trump had spent a majority of the day on Thursday trying to get both moderates and conservatives to find enough common ground to bring about a successful resolution. Despite his best efforts, more conservative members of the Republican party, who had nicknamed the replacement program “Obamacare Lite” refused to support the bill in it’s current form.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had said at his press briefing earlier Thursday afternoon that the White House was still confident that the legislation would pass.
“It’s going to pass. That’s it,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was quick to criticize the Republican effort to bring the legislation to vote so early on as a “rookie’s error” and urged fellow Democrats to continue to oppose the replacement plan.
“While Republicans scramble to make TrumpCare even more destructive, our Caucus must continue to be fully engaged today in exposing its disastrous consequences for the American people,” wrote in a letter to colleagues on Thursday.