Speaker of the House Paul Ryan registered his disappointment after a nail-biting vote on healthcare legislation was called off and said that the bill’s failure may complicate efforts to push ahead on tax reform.
“We came really close today, but we came up short,” Mr Ryan, who leads House Republicans, said during a press conference Friday afternoon. He said he had recommended to President Donald Trump that the vote be called off, and that Mr Trump had agreed to do so despite his earlier ultimatums that the vote happens today or else he would leave the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – in place.
Ultimately, a lack of consensus among Republicans – who hold a majority in the House – sunk the bill, which required 216 votes to advance to the Senate, Mr Ryan said.
Obamacare will stay in place for the “foreseeable future”, Mr Ryan said. The bill’s early failure may make it more difficult to move ahead with tax reform, he added, while qualifying that it would not be “impossible” to push ahead with that part of Mr Trump’s platform.
Mr Trump is scheduled to give remarks later today.