WASHINGTON: Despite a furious push, House Republican leaders were unable to wrangle the votes necessary to move forward on their latest effort to repeal Obamacare, denying President Donald Trump a major legislative victory during his first 100 days in office.
Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants decided during a late-night huddle in the Capitol that they still do not have the votes to pass the stalled Affordable Care Act, CNN reported.
The vote on the bill was delayed until next week.
At least 15 House Republicans remain solidly opposed to the bill, with another 20 leaning no or still undecided, according to GOP lawmakers and aides.
"We are not voting on healthcare tomorrow," Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters upon emerging from the meeting on Thursday. "We're still educating members."
It guarantees President Donald Trump will be without a cornerstone legislative achievement on his 100th day in office on Saturday -- a symbolic moment that the White House focused on intently in recent days as negotiations on a revised healthcare proposal accelerated.
The failure to collect the 216 votes needed to pass the bill marks yet another setback to the House -- and White House -- efforts to see the central GOP campaign promise of the last seven years even reach the House floor.
Still, a GOP leadership aide said the proposal, which brought Republicans closer to the requisite number of votes needed to pass a bill than any of the previous iterations, was "100 per cent" still alive.
"We're close, and moving in the right direction, but not close enough to risk it," an official said.
"That indicates that GOP leaders still see a window to move the bill, possibly as soon as next week. But there is unquestionably work to do," the official added.