House Republicans on Friday canceled a scheduled vote on President Donald Trump’s healthcare proposal after it became clear that Speaker Paul Ryan could not secure enough votes to pass the controversial legislation.
The bill — formally known as the American Health Care Act but dubbed “Trumpcare” — would have repealed and replaced former President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. The swift repeal and replacement of the healthcare law was one of President Trump’s most oft-repeated promises on the campaign trail last year.
Freshman Northwest Florida congressman Matt Gaetz — a conservative Republican and early Trump supporter — pulled no punches in a statement released Friday afternoon.
“Today the Republican-controlled House of Representatives let down President Trump and, more importantly, the American people,” Gaetz said. “We did so in the most cowardly, craven way possible — by failing to vote on the repeal of Obamacare. I share the frustration and disappointment of Northwest Floridians who expected and deserved action. We should know who was willing to stand with President Trump and who wasn’t. Now we never will.”
“Some say we should give up — that we should simply accept Obamacare’s cruel failures for eternity,” Gaetz added. “I won’t. I promised Northwest Floridians that I’d fight Washington control of our health care, our education, our environment and our lives. I’m more determined than ever to keep fighting.
Republicans must demonstrate the “competence to govern” in the weeks and months ahead, said Gaetz.
“In Florida, I was part of a leadership team that fought the special interests and the anti-reform establishment,” said Gaetz, speaking about his time as a state legislator. “We cut taxes by more than $1 billion dollars while repealing over 4,000 regulations, protecting life and our Constitutional rights. We empowered people, not government.”
“As your congressman, I plan to redouble my efforts to bring a renewed sense of urgency to this corrupt and disconnected town,” Gaetz added, referring to Washington, D.C. “In the face of this setback, we need bold, conservative reform more than ever. The fate of our nation is at stake.”