House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic defeat for President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that leaves a major campaign promise unfilled and casts doubt on the Republican Party’s ability to govern.
In addition to leaving the Affordable Care Act in place, the news also raises questions about the GOP’s ability to advance other high-stakes agenda items, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan is still without a signature achievement as speaker — and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump deflected any responsibility for the setback and blamed Democrats instead.
“We couldn’t get one Democratic vote and we were a little bit shy, very little, but it was still a little bit shy so we pulled it,” he said.
“I don’t blame Paul,” Trump said, referring to Ryan.