U.S. PresidentDonald Trump walks to the Oval Office after returning to the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Feb 24, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Xinhua) -- A GOP-sponsored health care bill was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives ahead of a vote at U.S. President Donald Trump's request, because not enough votes have been secured for its passing, U.S. media reported Friday.
"We couldn't get on Democratic vote and we were a little bit shy, very little, but it was still a little bit shy, so we pulled it," Trump was quoted by The Washington Post as saying.
Trump said Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, was not to be blamed.
The bill, named American Health Care Act, was rolled out by House Republicans in a bid to fulfill Trump's campaign promise of "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, a signature legislation of of the Obama administration thas it also known as Obamacare.
But the bill faced objection from factions within the Republican Party, as a group of conservative House members, known as the Freedom Caucus, refused to back the legislation that they said included too much regulations.
Efforts from Ryan and the White House on Thursday yielded no results, leading to the delay of the vote originally planned on Thursday to Friday.
After deciding to pull the bill from voting, Trump signaled that he would not ask Republican leaders to work on the bill in the coming weeks, but will wait until what he expect will be a doomed fate of Obamacare.
"As you know, I've been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a deal with the Democrats and have on unified deal. And they will come to us," he said.
"I never said I was going to repeal and replace in the first 61 days," he said.
Failing to secure enough votes for the bill came as the second major policy setback for the Trump administration, after repeated efforts to curb immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries was thwarted by federal courts.
The episode also revealed a deepening rift among GOP's own ranks which the White House and Republican leaders found themselves struggling to contain.