House Panel Clears Way For Full House Showdown On Obamacare Overhaul


The congressional showdown over replacing Obamacare moved closer to its climax Friday as the House Rules Committee sent the Republican Obamacare repeal proposal to the floor.

The panel sent it to the floor with a provision allowing no amendments, and allowing for four hours of debate.

President Donald Trump has been pushing hard for its passage.

Despite Trump’s efforts to push the legislation through the House, the package faces an uncertain fate.

There are currently no House Democrats supporting the overhaul to former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

House Republicans are divided over the plan, which has been revised since its introduction in hopes of getting conservative Republicans on board. At various times, more than 30 House Republicans have said they oppose the plan. If more than 22 vote to block it, the overhaul would be defeated.

Although House leadership and the president initially hoped for a vote on the package Thursday, plans for a vote were delayed to Friday after it became clear the proposal would fail if the vote was held Thursday.

Although Wednesday and Thursday were devoted to efforts by the president and his administration to bring recalcitrant House Republicans into the fold, Thursday night saw Trump and his administration calling a halt to negotiations, setting up for a dramatic conclusion on Friday.

“Guys, we’ve got one shot here,” The New York Times quoted Trump as telling members of the Freedom Caucus. “This is it — we’re voting now.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said Thursday night that the final chapter in the House’s efforts to repeal Obamacare would come Friday

“For seven and a half years we’ve been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it’s collapsing and failing families,” Ryan said Thursday night. “Tomorrow we’re proceeding.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday voiced confidence that the plan would pass.

“My understanding is he’s going to get it,” he told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Thursday night.

“We’re hoping to make this the last anniversary that any American has to suffer under Obamacare by instilling a patient-centric healthcare system in place, and the president has made that case to members throughout the spectrum of the Republican conference, and tomorrow, it’s time to vote,” he added.

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