In what was a marked defeat for President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan despite confident predictions all week from both, House Republicans went into recess rather than voting on Trumpcare, the American Health Care Act. Democrats taunted them as the House was recessed, chanting for a vote.
Trump apparently told Robert Costa of The Washington Post, “We pulled it.”
It’s unclear what happens next. Some reporter state that the vote has been postponed, and that further meetings will take place shortly in the House. Others state that the vote has been cancelled outright.
In recent hours, it became clear that Ryan and Trump, despite threats and pleas, didn’t have the votes to pass the AHCA, which essentially maintained the basic premises of Obamacare while worsening the so-called health insurance death spiral and doing little to cut costs over time. Ryan visited Trump earlier today to explain the situation – but even as that happened, members of the White House staff kept maintaining that the vote would be held today, or Trump would simply drop the health care issue entirely.
This failure, barring a stunning turnaround, could create a range of horrible political consequences for Republicans. Ryan’s speakership could be called into question, despite Trump’s support; Trump could decide to break entirely from Ryan’s legislative agenda and go it alone, attempting to cast Ryan as the fall guy in this debacle; Reince Priebus could pay a price inside the White House with Steve Bannon benefitting.
Or the House could do its job and go back to the drawing board.
We’ll keep you updated as events progress.