Top administration officials came to Capitol Hill Thursday evening to warn House Republicans they can either pass the American Health Care Act or let Obamacare stay in place.
Trump is taking a gamble as leadership still lacks the votes to get the bill through the lower chamber, with both members of the House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday group coming out against the measure.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney attended the GOP conference meeting, and relayed the message, specifically that President Donald Trump is done with negotiations.
“Let’s vote,” Bannon told reporters as he left the meeting.
New York Rep. Chris Collins said House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told lawmakers a procedural vote would be held at 10 a.m., followed by a vote on the legislation Friday afternoon.
“He expects it to pass. But he’s moving on if for some reason it doesn’t,” Collins told reporters.
HFC Chairman Mark Meadows has repeatedly said he is trying to get to yes, but can’t bring himself to vote for a measure he doesn’t believe will bring down premiums in a meaningful way. They have the numbers to vote down the bill if brought to the floor. But Trump appears to be done with attempting to strike a deal with the powerful conservative group, which appeared optimistic the previous evening leadership would agree to their terms.
The administration and whip team have been pulling out all the stops over the course of the past two weeks to sway members who remain on the fence — holding numerous meetings in an attempt to placate lawmakers across the conference.
Following the HFC’s meeting with the White House, the potential changes to the bill shifting its language in a more conservative direction led to losing the support of a number of moderates.
“For seven years, we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law,” Ryan told reporters. “Tomorrow, we’re proceeding.”
Leadership had initially anticipated bringing the bill to the floor Thursday evening.