TV news outlets started reporting at about 12:30 PM that today’s Trumpcare vote had been postponed after President Donald Trump failed to close a deal Thursday morning with House Freedom Caucus conservatives.
This scuttled Trump’s dreams of having the Trumpcare vote on the seventh anniversary of the signing of Obamacare.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN that the “hope” is to start “debate” on the bill Friday morning, suggesting that reports the vote would take place at 9 AM Friday were horseradish. Those reports had been accompanied by the explanation that Thursday’s vote got pulled so politicians would not be working at 2 AM. Which, loosely translated, means they did not think they would have the needed House votes at 2 AM. More likely, the next step will be determined when the entire House GOP conference meets Thursday at 7 PM ET.
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For Trump’s candid thoughts on the situation, political navel lint gazers likely will have to wait for his next Twitter session.
For TV-news consumption, Trump made measured remarks immediately after word got out that the vote had been erased from today’s dance card. Meeting with members of the trucking industry at the White House, Trump opened by thanking them for their support on Trumpcare.
“I know you had a big problem on Obamacare. Everybody does – so welcome to the crowd,” he guffawed.
“No one knows America like truckers know America; you see every hill, every valley, and every pothole,” Trump said, veering off topic.
Obamacare put many truckers out of business, Trump added, getting back on course. “We’ll see what happens; it’s going to be a very close vote. They know it’s no good – everybody knows it’s no good. … It’s all politics,” he said of the process. “It’s a good deal, and I think we have a good chance.”
Trump told the trucker guests, “I don’t want to spend too much time with you and then lose by one vote” by way of explaining why he was ending the photo op to get back to Trumpcare wheeling and dealing.
A couple hours earlier, after the House Freedom Caucus gave a pass to what was described as Trump’s last best offer, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer danced around a briefing question as to whether Trump would take responsibility if the bill did not pass.
“It’s gonna pass,” Spicer stoutly insisted, inaccurately promising “there will be no delay called on the vote.” Spicer praised his boss for having worked the phone “last night well into the 11 o’clock hour” to advocate for Trumpcare.
The Freedom Caucus meeting Thursday morning “was a very positive step” and “we are pleased with the direction,” Spicer continued.
Asked by one reporter if the Art of the Deal author would accept responsibility should the bill fail, Spicer responded, “Let’s get to the vote.” He added, “The President has done a phenomenal job. … There is no question how hard the president and his team have worked to get this done,” but “at the end of the day, we can’t force somebody to vote.”
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