Paul Ryan Is Freaking Out About Trump’s Healthcare Ultimatum Since His Speakership Is On The Line

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While Donald Trump busies himself with life-size Tonka trucks, Speaker Paul Ryan has been frantically trying to salvage what remains of the trouble American Health Care Act. Hence why he and other top House Republicans postponed Thursday’s planned vote to Friday in a last-ditch effort to gain the numbers necessary for it to pass. Despite this and other late legislative strategies, however, the president threatened to keep Obamacare in place should the GOP not get its act together in time. Needless to say, Ryan isn’t happy about this turn of events.

Following Thursday’s many dramas, according to the New York Times, Ryan reportedly “rushed” to the White House from the Capitol building Friday afternoon to deliver Trump the sobering news: House Republicans didn’t have the votes necessary to pass the bill. With the Freedom Caucus’ majority dissatisfaction with the AHCA, that number on Thursday sat precisely at 216 — the minimum number of votes required to pass a bill in the House. As of Friday morning, however, the ratio of known “yes” to “no” votes was looking much worse for Ryan and other top House Republicans.

Tabling the bill for now would, as the NYT notes, prevent Ryan and Trump from “[facing] the humiliating prospect of a major defeat on legislation” during the latter’s first 100 days. After all, the president frequently touted his deal-making abilities throughout the election, so his inability to make a deal with unhappy Freedom Caucus members (among others) wouldn’t look too good. Then again, seeing as how Ryan has been dreaming about many of Trumpcare’s promises since his keg-drinking days, the prospect of losing is much worse for the Wisconsin politician.

The AHCA, and the last seven years’ worth of Republican complaints about Obamacare, were a large part of Ryan’s personal platform. So much so that House Freedom Caucus members unhappy with the bill as-is seemingly took their frustrations out on him during a recent meeting with reporters. Per Politico, when asked whether the failing negotiations would result in a “referendum” on Ryan’s speakership, Republicans didn’t say yes or no. Though Chairman Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) did suggest “the way [the health care proposal] was rolled out was not indicative of an open process” — a veiled reference to Ryan’s cutting them and others out of the negotiation process.

(Via New York Times and Politico)