Republicans, lacking votes for passage, pull health-care bill |

Republicans, lacking votes for passage, pull health-care bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Friday passes a waving tourist as he walks from the House chamber to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders Friday afternoon abruptly pulled their troubled health care overhaul bill off the House floor, short of votes and eager to avoid a defeat for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., withdrew the legislation after Trump called him and asked him to halt debate without a vote, according to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Just a day earlier, Trump had demanded a House vote and said if the measure lost, he would move on to other issues.

The bill had appeared all but certain to be defeated Friday. The roll call was on track to occur in about an hour.

The measure has been a top GOP priority and was the party’s first major legislative effort since it took control of both the White House and Congress in January.

The legislation would repeal much of former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law, including its requirement that people buy policies.

Earlier, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was confident that the White House had done “every single thing possible” to corral the 216 votes needed to pass legislation to repeal the Obama-era health care law.

Trump offered his support for Ryan at a White House event announcing the presidential permit approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Asked if Ryan should remain as speaker if the bill fails, Trump said, “Yes.”

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