Open thread: House to vote on health care at 3:30 ET. Maybe. Who knows? Update: VOTE CANCELED; Update: “I don’t blame Paul”; Update: Ryan to hold presser at 4 p.m.
Sean Spicer said a few hours ago that a vote was set for 3:30 and the White House seems gung ho to see it happen, for reasons known only to them. So maybe there’ll be a vote! You’ll probably want to turn on CSPAN now just in case.
Then again, maybe there won’t be:
The most interesting tweet of the afternoon came not from the White House or the House leadership but from a man with a foot in both camps — former Speaker turned Trump advisor Newt Gingrich, who correctly finds it insane and self-destructive to make the party vote on a deeply unpopular bill that’s unlikely to pass. Vote yes and Democrats will use it against you. Vote no and you humiliate Trump.
Three days ago he was cheering the bill on and recommending that every House Republican vote yes. Oh well. The Upshot’s whip count has 33 Republicans as firm no’s, nine leaning no, and 46 undecided. The bill can only afford to lose 22 or it’ll fail. Anything can happen, but the fact that the White House and Congress are already moving to the recriminations stage tells you how this is likely to go:
That’ll be a nice consolation prize for Trump, Bannon, and their base if it happens. Epic failure in repealing ObamaCare in return for Paul Ryan’s scalp? As long as a leading “globalist” goes down, it was all worth it.
Update: The bill is on ice. The House is in recess. No vote.
The House GOP will be holding a conference meeting at 3:30 instead. Maybe Ryan will announce whether the bill is dead or merely resting, to be revisited when the House is back in session.
Update: Trump is magnanimous in defeat, for now:
A House leadership aide claims that Trump phoned Ryan at 3 and asked him to pull the bill, clearly the wise decision under the circumstances.
Update: Don’t stray too far from your TV yet. Ryan’s holding a press conference at 4 p.m. to address what happens now.
Update: Still waiting for Ryan’s presser, but if Greg Walden — who co-wrote the bill — is saying this, I don’t think it’s coming back: