A White House spokesperson said Thursday that the decision to cancel a vote planned for that night on the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act was made for scheduling reasons and they expect the vote will occur Friday.
“We feel this should be done in the light of day, not the wee hours of the night, and we are confident the bill will pass in the morning,” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Time.
Asked about the delay in voting on the American Health Care Act during a meeting with truckers at the White House, President Trump did not comment.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Cal., told CNN the Republican conference will meet on Thursday night and he hopes a vote will take place tomorrow, but he did not commit to a timeline.
“We’re going to get this done,” he insisted.
He acknowledged that the GOP needs a few more votes to pass the American Health Care Act, though.
“The president had made great progress with individuals,” McCarthy said. “We just need to make sure everybody is there and we’d be able to solve this problem.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said soon after the announcement that the vote would not occur that Speaker Paul Ryan has “a very difficult task” to convince enough of his members to vote for the bill.
“We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes at this point… However, I would say progress is being made,” he said.
President Trump met with the caucus earlier in the day at the White House, but many remained firm in their opposition.
“At this point, the president’s engagement is unparalleled in the history of our country, to actually engage a number of our members whether they be moderate or conservative,” Meadows said.
He dismissed the “artificial deadline” for a vote and insisted this is not a loss for the president.
"This is a president that wants to get things done,” he added. “So I can tell you the Freedom Caucus is committed to work with the President."
According to Meadows, his members are working to ensure that the final bill lowers health insurance premiums for American families.
The delay in the vote has energized its critics on the left. Democrats urged supporters to continue jamming the phone lines of vulnerable Republican members to express their opposition to the bill.
“All the calls, all the pressure you're putting on your Congressmembers--IT'S WORKING! Keep it up-we cant afford to let #Trumpcare pass,” Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., tweeted.
Rep. Jim Himes, D-Ore., mocked Republicans’ troubles on Twitter.
“Know what I'm doing now? NOT voting on @GOP "Healthcare" bill,” he wrote. “Why? It's so bad, their own people won't vote for it.”
“No House vote today means Freedom Caucus members understand rearranging chairs on the Titanic doesn't solve their problem. #acha #Trumpcare,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Cal., said.
MoveOn.org continued tweeting out names and contact information for Republicans who may be persuadable.
“Don't stop now, friends. Your calls and visits are literally halting TrumpCare. Keep it up. Let's finish this,” the Twitter account for the Indivisible Guide advised its followers.
Posting a picture of President Trump behind the wheel of a truck outside the White House earlier in the afternoon, they added, “While you were calling, Trump was doing this. We can stop TrumpCare folks. Keep doing what you're doing.”