Speaker Paul Ryan Admits Defeat: ‘Obamacare For The Foreseeable Future’

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., tells reporters it looks like Hillary Clinton got preferential treatment from the FBI in its investigation of the former secretary of state's use of a private email server for government business, during a news conference at Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. He said there are a number of outstanding questions about the FBI inquiry. Director James Comey will be testifying Thursday before the House Oversight committee, and the House Judiciary panel has scheduled a hearing next week with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Friday laid blame for the failure of a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on Republican members of the House, and said he would move on to other issues that “people have even more agreement on.”

“You have all heard me say this before, moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains,” Ryan said at the beginning of a press briefing. “And, well, we’re feeling those growing pains today.”

Noting that “the President gave his all in this effort,” Ryan instead pinned blame on the bill’s failure on the members of his own House Republican caucus.

“There is a block of no votes that we had, that is why this didn’t pass,” he said, after one reporter asked him if he blamed the conservative House Freedom Caucus for obstructing the bill.

“They were sufficient number of votes that prevented it from passing and they didn’t change their votes,” he continued. “We were close. Some of the members of that caucus were voting with us, but not enough were. And therefore – and I met with their chairman earlier today, and he made it clear to me that the votes weren’t going to be there from their team. And that was sufficient to provide the balance to not have this bill pass.”

Ryan was non-committal on plans to mount another effort to repeal Obamacare, saying at one point that “there are other parts of our agenda that people have even more agreement on, on what to achieve.”

“We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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