Policy

McCarthy: No Health Care Vote Friday or Saturday

‘We’ve been educating people on health care’

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with a reporter before a procedural vote in the Capitol on the American Health Care Act, March 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Updated 11:00 p.m. 04/27/17

The House will not vote on a measure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law Friday or Saturday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday.

“We’ve been educating people on health care,” he said. “It’s not tomorrow. I never said it was going to be tomorrow. ... We are not voting on health care tomorrow.”

[GOP Moderates Still Holding Out on Health Care]

When asked about Saturday, he said, “No. We never put it out there.” He made no further comments about timing.

The decision on timing is a blow to the Trump administration, which had been pressing House leaders to pass the health care measure before the end of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days, which falls on Saturday.

But Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin had pushed back on an artificial deadline and consistently said they would bring the measure to the floor when they had the votes. He is hoping to avoid a repeat of his disastrous health care failure in March, when his team pulled the party’s first health care bill from floor consideration because it lacked support to pass.

His comments come after leaders, including Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina huddled for almost two hours in a late-night meeting in Ryan’s office.

McMorris Rodgers confirmed the meeting was centered on health care, but McCarthy billed it otherwise.

“We’re working on the CR,” McCarthy said after the meeting. “Did I ever say we were going to vote on health care? No, we’re still talking to members. We’re still showing members the amendment.”

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, when asked about the status of vote count on the health care bill, repeated several times, “I feel really good about the progress we’ve made this week.

“When we have a close of a week like this, members with absences and challenges, varied challenges with individual members for absences, that affects a vote like this as well,” he said. “We’re trying to get a bill that we can get to the Senate, that we can get to the president’s desk. I’m confident we’re going to pass this bill.”

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