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It’s on — for now.

Despite a growing drumbeat of doubt about the outcome, the House of Representatives will vote this afternoon around 3:30 pm Eastern Time on Republicans’ healthcare legislation, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Friday, adding that they were continuing to pick up votes in favour of the legislation as the deadline nears.

Mr Spicer said that President Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House and leader of House Republicans, are “continuing to discuss the way forward” on the bill, the Affordable Health Care Act. The vote was initially scheduled for Thursday, but it was pushed back until today as concerns grew about whether there were enough dedicated “yes” votes to ensure its passage.

When asked whether Mr Ryan had told Mr Trump that he lacked the votes to get the bill past that first critical hurdle, Mr Spicer said: “The speaker is currently having a conversation with him about where that vote count stands.”

The White House has “left everything on the field” in terms of convincing members to vote for the bill, and the tally is getting “closer and closer” as the vote nears.

“At some point you can only do so much”, he added.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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