Update, 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 24
Republicans in Congress have pulled back on a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats in California immediately celebrated the decision to cancel the floor vote, after hours of floor debate criticizing the legislation on Friday morning.
Your calls, emails, & letters worked. Speaking out at town halls worked. The GOP pulled their bad bill b/c you spoke out. We can’t stop now!
— Mike Thompson (@RepThompson) March 24, 2017
“What happened on the floor is a victory for the American people,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in a press conference following the announcement.
Most California Republicans supported the bill, but some members, especially in swing districts, never took a solid position on the legislation.
“I commend both President Trump and Speaker Ryan for their willingness to undertake such a difficult issue,” said Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford). “I stand willing and ready to discuss, negotiate, and enact responsible policies for my constituents in California’s Central Valley.”
Update, 9:35 a.m. Friday, March 24:
Debate is underway in the House of Representatives before an expected vote this afternoon on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans in support of the replacement bill, The American Health Care Act, have framed it as a last chance to follow through on campaign promises to repeal Obamacare. They face a new ultimatum on Friday, as President Donald Trump has said he will move on from health care if the bill is not passed.
Every single Republican who votes for #TrumpCare will have this moral monstrosity tattooed to their foreheads forever. Every. Single. One.
“This may well be our last off-ramp on the road to ruin,” said Rep. Tom McClintock(R-Elk Grove) during debate this morning.
Democrats are expected to uniformly oppose the bill, which means Republicans can afford to lose no more than 21 votes.
“This bill shows disdain for the most vulnerable, and would lead to death and destruction, and disease of millions of Americans,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), on the House floor. “I hope Republicans remember to love their neighbor as themselves today and vote ‘no’ on this mean-spirited bill.”
The vote on the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been delayed. The House was slated to vote Thursday night, but the legislation has been running into trouble — from the right and the center.
Before the delay was announced, House Democratic Leader and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi ribbed Republicans efforts to shore up support for the American Health Care Act.
“As bad as Trumpcare was, Republicans have been up all night trying to make it worse,” Pelosi said early Thursday. “They’re scrambling to find a bill that they can pass on the floor.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 23, 2017
After the news spread that the vote was postponed, California’s congressional delegation began to respond.
“This bill (AHCA) will lead to lower premiums, greater choice in coverage options and large reductions in the federal deficit,” Republican Rep. Mimi Walters said in a statement. “Such major entitlement reform does right by Americans from all walks of life and delivers the type of change demanded by my constituents.”
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu took to Twitter:
No House vote today means Freedom Caucus members understand rearranging chairs on the Titanic doesn’t solve their problem. #acha #Trumpcare https://t.co/BmlbkMjaDu
A recent NPR station survey of California’s congressional delegation found that most of the state’s Republican representatives support the GOP health care plan. But that support could change if major revisions are made to the benefits that healthcare plans are required to provide.