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Trump, Ryan Pull Health Care Bill After Failing To Secure Enough Votes


It was a dramatic afternoon on Capitol Hill. The House was set to vote on the Republican health care bill, and then the bill was pulled. It was clear that House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump did not have enough votes for the bill. President Trump spoke in the Oval Office a short time later.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We were very close. It was a very, very tight margin. We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats.

MCEVERS: To understand the impact of what's happened today, let's go first to NPR's Susan Davis, who is at the Capitol. Hi there, Sue.


MCEVERS: So how did all of this fall apart?

DAVIS: Well, it was never really clear they had the votes for the bill. And late on Thursday night, the president declared that he was done negotiating and wanted a vote. But as the day transpired and it became very clear that it would fail on the floor, the speaker went over, had lunch with the president and told him that he thought it would be better to pull the bill from the floor, to not vote at all, and the president agreed. And what that means is that the Republican Party essentially failed to deliver on what has been their signature campaign promise since 2010.

MCEVERS: For seven years.


MCEVERS: Let's listen to a bit of what House Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier today.


PAUL RYAN: We will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better. But ultimately this all kind of comes down to a choice. Are all of us willing to give a little to get something done? Are we willing to say yes to the good - to the very good even if it's not the perfect?

MCEVERS: And, Sue, it sounds like the prospects for a replacement for Obamacare are pretty dim. I mean how big of a blow is this to the speaker?

DAVIS: It's a significant blow to the speaker. It's a blow to the speaker. It's a blow to the president, and it's a blow to the party. You know, this is something that they told their voters they would do. This is a broken promise, and it's a broken promise within the first 100 days of a new presidency when he's supposed to be securing some early victories.

MCEVERS: Susan Davis on Capitol Hill, stick around. We'll come back to you in a minute. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.