President Donald Trump looks likely to pass his 100th day in office without successfully repealing Obamacare, but lawmakers appeared to have avoided a government shutdown for at least another week.
Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said late Thursday that there wouldn’t be a vote on the Affordable Care Act this week.
This came after Democrats threatened to oppose even a one-week extension to keep the government’s lights on if GOP lawmakers tried to push through the bill Friday or Saturday, which is Trump’s 100th day.
Trump has been keen to secure the passage of what was one of his major campaign promises before his presidential milestone. McCarthy explained there would be no vote because leaders were still talking with members about the measure.
The House vote is shaping up to be a largely partisan vote where mostly Republicans will support it, a move that is further stoking simmering tensions between the two parties that is likely to pour into next week when the next deadline approaches to keep the government’s lights on.
Senate Republicans tried to pass the extension without a roll call vote Thursday evening but Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer objected because he wants a deal on the larger funding bill before he agrees to the extension. Schumer’s demand puts more pressure on negotiators to wrap up talks before the Senate tries again on Friday.
While Republican leaders insist they will not bring health care to the floor for a vote until they are confident they have enough support to pass it, a new compromise amendment to the once-shelved legislation had initially given it enough of a push to raise the prospect of a vote by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic negotiators had run out of time to pass a large funding bill, and GOP leaders were preparing for the short-term extension to allow for more time to reach an agreement.
A vote on the one-week continuing resolution to fund the government was expected sometime Friday.
“If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week continuing resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well,” Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who is responsible for corralling his party’s votes, said earlier Thursday before McCarthy confirmed there would be no vote.
Republicans, however, had dismissed Democratic concerns.
“I’d be kinda shocked if the Democrats would want to create a government shutdown because they have been dragging their feet,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said of the government funding talks. “I’m confident we’ll be able to pass a short-term extension.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated at a news conference Thursday morning that Republicans were going to have to pass a one-week extension without votes from her caucus.
“Some of my members do not want any CR,” she said, referring to the extension. “They think there has been plenty of time” for negotiations.
Trump, growing impatient with the slow and dramatic mechanics of Congress as his 100th day in office approaches, lobbed seven tweets Thursday morning blaming Democrats for the absence of a government funding deal.
He touched on a series of issues that are still holding up a deal, including funding for Puerto Rico and health insurance for coal miners.
Trump backed down from two of his demands this week — money for a border wall and withholding subsidies to help lower-income people — to avert a government shutdown.
Meanwhile, House Republicans leaders are working to assess the number of votes they have for their updated health care bill after a core group of conservative members of the House agreed to support the measure.