In it, but not of it. TPM DC

This week, GOP leaders dubbed President Donald Trump "the Closer" and insisted he could win over dissenting Republicans and ensure the passage of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But the Closer didn't close.

A half an hour before the bill was set to go to the floor on Friday, it was pulled, in a mercy-killing ensured by revolts in both the moderate and conservative wings of the party.

Now, in the wake of an embarrassing defeat, the White House and Republicans are pointing fingers at one another and scrambling to avoid blame.

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Late Friday afternoon, minutes before they were supposed to fulfill eight years of promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans choked and pulled their bill amid resistance from both the party’s conservative and moderate wings and fears a floor vote would go down in flames.

President Donald Trump, after demanding a Friday vote less than 24 hours previously, agreed with House Speaker Paul Ryan that the bill be pulled.

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Things are still extremely shaky for the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is slated for a late Friday afternoon vote in the House of Representatives. An unscheduled trip by Speaker Paul Ryan to the White House to meet with President Trump suggests that even leadership isn't sure it has the votes.

A last-minute package of amendments designed to appease both hardline conservatives and moderates has alienated some of both, and Republican leaders and the President are signaling uncertainty about the bill's passage. The morning also saw a major defection: House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).

"Honestly, I'm not sure we've landed it," Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), the chair of the 170-member Republican Study Committee, told reporters Friday morning. "I'm hopeful we can get there today but at this point I don't know how many we are short."

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Late last night, after scuttling a planned vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans huddled behind closed doors in the basement of the Capitol to attempt to hash out their difference. What resulted was the release of a new amendment to the bill and the ultimatum that Republicans must vote for the legislation Friday or suffer the political consequences.

Passage is far from certain, as conservative and moderate Republicans alike express deep misgivings about the original bill and its last-minute changes—which will allow states gut the rule that insurance companies cover 10 Essential Health benefits, delays a Medicare tax on the wealthy for five years, and allocates an additional $15 billion for states to help cover maternity, mental health, and substance abuse costs.

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Since sparking a political conflagration by tweeting, in the wee hours of March 4, that his phones at Trump Tower were wiretapped by Barack Obama prior to the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has insisted he'd eventually be vindicated. According to Trump and his supporters, that vindication arrived Wednesday.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) called reporters to the Capitol Visitor Center to solemnly claim that the intelligence community “incidentally collected” information about Trump and some members of his transition team following the election. That information, he said, was collected apart from the FBI's investigation into whether there was any "cooperation" between Trump's campaign and Russian government officials in their efforts to meddle in the U.S. election.

Nunes said the information was collected legally, but his vague and cagey claims were seized upon in a rush of breathless, speculative, and, in some cases, incorrect reports that claimed Trump was telling the truth about having his "wires tapped" all along. The Obama administration spied on the then-President elect, these news outlets agreed (the cat was well out of the bag before Nunes’ office conceded Thursday afternoon that he didn’t know “for sure” that intelligence agencies actually collected communications from Trump or his staffers.)

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Maybe it was the bad headlines. Maybe it was just too complicated.

But on Thursday President Trump was done negotiating over Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill. That was the message delivered to GOP House members in a basement conference room Thursday evening, where White House officials told lawmakers that their replacement bill—the American Health Care Act—would be brought to the floor on Friday whether the conference had the votes to pass it or not.

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On Thursday evening, after nearly 12 hours of delay, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to implement "martial law"—a term that in this instance doesn't mean a military coup but rather a loophole that allows them to hold a floor vote on a bill that was marked up and changed that same day.

The vote was 227-189, along party lines.

The move clears the way for the House to quickly bring to the floor their Obamacare repeal bill – when and if they finally reach internal agreement on what it should be. A final vote on the bill is expected Friday.

The rules change became necessary after House Rules Committee did not complete its revisions of the controversial bill after 13 hours of deliberation on Wednesday. Negotiations with both the House's hardline conservatives and moderate Republicans failed to produce a compromise Wednesday. Instead, the committee voted to waive a House rule that mandates lawmakers wait at least a day before voting on a bill once it clears the committee process.

Negotiations on the bill dragged on through the day Thursday until leadership eventually postponed a final vote on the yet-to-be seen bill.

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Amid the chaos on Capitol Hill Thursday as GOP leaders failed to muster the votes for their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office released its assessment of the most recent revision of the bill. The CBO had little good news for Republicans: 24 million people would still lose insurance over 10 years under the revised legislation, and it would do far less than the original bill to reduce the federal deficit.

The original bill was slated to reduce the deficit by $337 billion over a decade, but amendments proposed to win over the votes of moderate Republicans nervous about the bill's impact on their lower-income and elderly constituents would cost the government an additional $186 billion.

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Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.

They blinked.

In a major setback for the Republicans' years-long effort to repeal Obamacare, GOP leaders were forced to delay a House vote planned for Thursday as negotiations continued around the legislation. The delay comes after the conservative hardliners who have been resisting the legislation emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump with no clear deal to win over their votes.

According to various reports, the floor vote on the American Health Care Act will be pushed until at least Friday, with a meeting with the full House GOP conference slated for Thursday evening, followed by a procedural vote to make way for the final bill.

As the White House negotiated Thursday with members of the conservative hardline House Freedom Caucus, more and more members of Republicans' moderate flank came out of the woodwork to say they oppose the repeal bill due to the rightward direction in which it was heading.

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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Moderate Republicans have voiced increasing opposition to the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare as House GOP leadership has bent over backwards to appease more conservative members' demands regarding the legislation. And in the past few days, a critical mass of moderates have come out as "no" votes on the American Health Care Act, signaling that it's not just hardliners' support that the bill's proponents need to lock down for an expected Thursday vote.

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