The US President’s pulled a vote on his healthcare proposals after it became clear that they didn’t have the support to pass. Donald Trump made it a big campaign promise to replace Barack Obama’s system. But he failed to win the backing he needed.
House speaker Paul Ryan gave an update on the situation at a news conference held at the U.S Capitol visitor centre. Republican leaders are short of the votes needed for their healthcare overhaul bill hours ahead of a House vote demanded by Donald Trump, officials say.
Republican legislators and congressional aides painted a gloomy picture as speaker Paul Ryan met the president at the White House to deliver the sobering news.
Vice president Mike Pence was meeting recalcitrant members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus in a last-ditch effort to secure support.
Representative Mark Walker told reporters: “As of right now, I’m not sure that we are across the finish line. We’ve still got three or four hours and there’s still discussions happening.”
Party chiefs had earlier muscled their key healthcare overhaul past an initial barrier and towards a climactic roll call, plunging ahead despite uncertainty over whether they had the votes to prevail.
The House used a near party-line 230-194 vote to insert changes into the measure that leaders hoped would win over unhappy Republicans
The showdown comes after the president warned he would hold no more negotiations with rebels.
In a message delivered to rank-and-file Republicans at the Capitol late on Thursday, senior Trump aides said if the measure failed he would move on to the rest of his agenda.
“We’ll see what happens,” Mr Trump said at the White House on Friday when asked what comes next if the measure fails.
The White House said it remained optimistic about the bill.
Press secretary Sean Spicer said Mr Trump was looking forward to the House passing the bill and expected the House to vote later.
Mr Spicer said the president was meeting Mr Ryan to “discuss the way forward” and the president had “left everything on the field” on the bill.