Paul Ryan To Donors: GOP Plans To ‘Keep Getting At’ Health Care Overhaul

Alex Brandon/AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday told donors that Republicans plan to keep working on an overhaul of health care policy in the wake of their failed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“We are not giving up,” Ryan said on a call with donors to his political organization Team Ryan, as quoted in a report by the Washington Post. “We are going to keep getting at this thing.”

After the bill was pulled half an hour before it was set to go to the House floor on Friday Ryan told reporters: “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

On the call Monday, however, he said that Republicans are “not going to just all of a sudden abandon health care and move on to the rest.”

Ryan laid the blame for the bill’s failure at the feet of “about 10 percent” of House Republicans, though leaders were unable to corral enough votes to get the bill through the chamber after defections in both the moderate and conservative wings of the party.

“About 10 percent of our people, a particular bloc, just weren’t there yet, even with the President’s involvement,” Ryan said on the call.

He said he pulled the bill to “let a little pressure off the system, let some nerves cool a little bit.”

“Ninety percent of our conference was very, very upset with about 10 percent, and I didn’t want things being done and said that people would regret,” Ryan said. “So I sent folks home for the weekend to just kind of soak in what had happened, appreciate the situation and start over and get back to work again.”

Ryan said that he spoke with Trump “four or five times” over the weekend, and that he and the President are “completely united” on the next step.

“I think the White House, the President in particular, has a much, much clearer understanding of just the dynamic that we have in the House Republican Conference,” he said. “And so that, if anything, is very helpful that he really now appreciates the challenges we have of governing and of becoming a governing party.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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