UPDATE: As Cortney reported, the American Health Care Act has been pulled by House Republicans. President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan met earlier today, where the Ryan reportedly informed the White House that they didn't have the votes to pass the AHCA. Trump is said to have called Ryan to ask him to pull the bill.
The American Health Care Act, the Republican bill that seeks to replace Obamacare, looks like it’s going down. At least 36-38 House Republicans plan to vote against the bill; the GOP could only afford to lose no more than 21 votes. Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia announced she would be opposing the bill. During the White House press briefing, Rep Dave Joyce (R-OH) said he couldn’t support the bill over concerns about Medicare funding. Just now, on Fox News, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten said that this bill will either go down in defeat or be pulled.Yet, the Trump White House says they’re optimistic about the legislation, despite the whip counts showing doom and gloom. Asawin Suebsaeng of The Daily Beast reported that sources from the Trump administration told him that Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon told the president to keep a “shit list” of the members who plan to vote against the bill, though some officials said they wouldn’t necessarily call it an enemies list—but they wouldn’t want to be on it. Talk about parsing words right there.
According to multiple Trump administration officials speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, the president is angry that his first big legislative push is crumbling before his eyes—and his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is advising him to take names and keep a hit list of Republicans who worked for Trumpcare’s defeat.
“[Bannon] has told the president to keep a shit list on this,” one official told The Daily Beast. "He wants a running tally of [the Republicans] who want to sink this…Not sure if I'd call it an 'enemies list,' per se, but I wouldn't want to be on it."
One aide described it as a proposed “hit list” for Republicans not sufficiently loyal. Courses of action stemming from any related tally is yet to be determined, but the idea and message is that “we’ll remember you.”
Should the Trump camp decide to go after Republicans who vote against AHCA later today, these members could find support (and campaign cash) with the Koch Brothers, who promised to defend lawmakers who vote against the bill. The Koch Network has been staunchly opposed to the AHCA, saying it doesn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare.
Hot Air’s Allahpundit has some thoughts about today’s events, specifically that Ryan should pull the bill.
Pitiful if Ryan forces a vote just so that Trump can count his enemies— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) March 24, 2017
Ryan should protect his caucus by yanking the bill if he knows they don’t have the votes, however Trump may feel— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) March 24, 2017
No surer sign that Trump is governing as an independent than if they force the GOP to do a roll call on a bill that’s doomed— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) March 24, 2017