The vote on Paul Ryan’s Obamacare repeal and “replace” bill is set for just a few hours from now, but panic is starting to set in as the Speaker may not have enough votes to get the bill passed in the lower chamber.
The bill was originally scheduled for a vote yesterday, but Ryan delayed the vote due to the concern that not enough GOP lawmakers were on board. That concern is still just as valid now as it was yesterday. Perhaps even more so.
The House Freedom Caucus has voiced some of the loudest objection to the bill, and they claim that there are not enough representatives on board to make passing the bill viable. Despite the efforts of the Speaker and the President, they are standing firm in their conviction that a better bill is needed, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
“I’m still a no,” Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., told the Washington Examiner as he left the House chamber following a procedural vote related to the bill. Jones was one of six lawmakers to vote against their GOP leaders in that procedural vote.
Republican leaders have scheduled a vote on passing the repeal and replace measure to take place before 5 p.m., telling lawmakers in a late-night meeting Thursday they would bring it to the floor “pass or fail.” That plan came directly from President Trump, who is ready to move onto tax reform and other agenda items either way.
The House Majority Whip has even given up on certain members like Jones because of such resolute steadfastness.
“I just don’t want to waste his time,” quipped Steve Scalise (R. La).
Jones told the Examiner that only a handful out of hundreds of constituents have voiced support for the bill. Numerous others have indicated similar sentiments in their districts.
Critics of the bill claim it’s not much better than what we have now with Obamacare.
Additionally, the move to modify the bill, which included a provision extending a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on high-income earners, seems not to have helped build support among several dozen conservatives like Jones who oppose the measure.
“I don’t see anybody who was a no yesterday changing today,” Jones said.
As of 1 pm ET, #KillTheBill is one of the top trends on Twitter.
— Erika~Build Our Wall (@ms_erika74) March 24, 2017
I have no idea why Leftists want to #KillTheBill
I thought they love Obamacare.
This bill preserves Obamacare!!!
— Mark Romano (@TheMarkRomano) March 24, 2017
275 oppose vs 4 support #ObamaCareLite. Phone calls to my office from constituents over last two weeks. Why are we voting on this?
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 21, 2017
It is still unclear what will happen to the bill. If there are not enough votes to pass, Speaker Ryan may pull it entirely rather than seeing the embarrassment of a failure in the House.
At this rate, I think that may be what will happen. Yet only time will tell.