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Donald Trump has suffered a blow as opposition from within his own party forced Republican leaders to cancel a vote on healthcare reform for the second time, casting doubt on the president’s ability to deliver on other priorities.

The withdrawal pointed to the failure of Mr Trump’s exhaustive last-minute efforts to charm and cajole lawmakers, raising questions about whether he could unify Republicans behind his pro-growth legislative goals of tax reform and infrastructure spending.

In a turbulent presidency already marked by espionage allegations and legal defeats, the decision to pull the vote for the second time in 24 hours marked the Trump administration’s worst day yet. It also set the stage for a tense post mortem within an already fractious party.

The vote to repeal Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms was cancelled at about the time it was due to begin in the House of Representatives on Friday afternoon, US media reported.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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