This post will be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available.
UPDATE 3:10 pm: President Trump is blaming Democrats for the failure of Trumpcare. Nevermind that Republicans could have passed the legislation without a single Democratic vote.
UPDATE 2:00 pm: Republicans have pulled the bill from consideration. Trumpcare is dead. As the Washington Post reports:
House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“We just pulled it,” President Trump told The Washington Post in a telephone interview.
In a news conference shortly after the decision, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) conceded that his party “came up short.”
The decision came a day after Trump delivered an ultimatum to lawmakers — and represented multiple failures for the new president and Ryan.
Rep. Paul Ryan: “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.” https://t.co/BNClMlRPR2
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) March 24, 2017
UPDATE 11:19 am: House Speaker Paul Ryan has informed President Trump that Republicans do NOT have the votes to pass Trumpcare. From the New York Times:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, facing a revolt among conservative and moderate Republicans, rushed to the White House Friday afternoon to inform President Trump he did not have the votes to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to decide whether to pull the bill from consideration.
The president and the speaker faced the humiliating prospect of a major defeat on legislation promised for seven years, since the landmark health legislation was signed into law. President Trump had demanded a vote regardless, which has been scheduled for Friday afternoon. But House leaders were leaning against such a public loss.
UPDATE 9:52 am: Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is a “YES” vote. No surprise here, but confirmation from Brandon Rittiman at 9News:
— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) March 24, 2017
UPDATE 9:31 am: Here’s a comprehensive look at the vote wrangling taking place in the House. In Colorado’s Congressional delegation, only Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is considered a potential “NO” vote.
Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is pretending that he is still undecided on the bill, but is doing everything he can to avoid media questions on the topic.
— Mark K Matthews (@mkmatthews) March 24, 2017
President Trump issued an “Art of the Deal” ultimatum late Thursday on Trumpcare, urging House Republicans to put their healthcare plan to a vote one day after punting because the caucus didn’t think it had the votes for passage. As the Washington Post explains:
The stakes are higher, but once again Trump is playing the take-it-or-leave-it game. He sent his chief of staff, chief strategist and the OMB director to the Capitol last night to say that if the House does not pass the repeal-and-replace bill today, as it stands, he is going to leave Obamacare in place as the law of the land and drop the issue. Mick Mulvaney, who co-founded the Freedom Caucus, told his former colleagues last night: “The president needs this. … If for any reason it (goes) down, we’re just going to move forward with additional parts of his agenda.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer went on Fox News to echo him: “At the end of the day, this is the only train leaving the station that’s going to repeal Obamacare.”
Trump, who knows this is a high-risk gamble, is following through on his campaign promise to bring a businessman’s approach to government. Today offers a big test of how that will work out.
Rand Paul, who has been highly critical of the House legislation, brought copies of “The Art of the Deal” with him to a meeting with the Freedom Caucus last week. He urged members to brush up on Trump’s tactics. The Kentucky senator even brought a poster with a quote from a chapter on how to “use your leverage.” “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it,” Trump wrote. “That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.”
Republicans are trying to push through a Trumpcare vote today by promising a host of changes to both moderates and far-right conservative groups such as the Freedom Caucus. Concessions may include eliminating federal requirements for comprehensive coverage and scrapping the requirement that insurers accept pre-existing conditions; both proposals would be hugely unpopular with a majority of Americans, but Republicans seem to be weighing whether or not it is more politically-damaging to do nothing at all than it is to approve a terrible piece of legislation.
Most news outlets are reporting that a potential vote is too close to call. As of Thursday afternoon, anywhere from 30-40 Republicans were known to oppose Trumpcare; the legislation cannot pass if the House caucus can’t prevent more than 22 Republicans from voting “NO.”