Republicans in Congress said they lacked the votes needed for passage of their U.S. healthcare system overhaul and a key committee chairman came out in opposition after Donald Trump demanded a vote on Friday in a gamble that could hobble his presidency.
Amid a chaotic scramble for votes, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who has championed the bill, met with Trump at the White House. Ryan told the president there were not enough votes to pass the plan, U.S. media reported.
The showdown on the House floor follows Trump’s decision to cut off negotiations to shore up support inside his own party, with moderates and the most conservative lawmakers balking. On Thursday night he had issued an ultimatum that lawmakers pass the legislation that has his backing or keep in place the Obamacare law that Republicans have sought to dismantle since it was enacted seven years ago.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said at the White House, adding that Ryan should keep his job regardless of the outcome.
The White House said the vote was set for about 3:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) on Friday on the bill to replace Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare.
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