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Trump Publicly Stands By Ryan Despite Rumored Discord

WASHINGTON — Despite reports that the White House planned to blame House Speaker Paul Ryan for the failure of the Republican health care bill, President Trump publicly praised the speaker’s handling of the legislation on Friday.

 Trump’s comments came after it was announced that Republicans would abandon efforts to pass the bill and shortly after Ryan visited the White House.

According to a senior Trump administration official, Ryan suggested not holding a floor vote because not enough votes had been mustered to pass the legislation, and Trump agreed. Trump talked to reporters in the Oval Office afterward and was asked if he was still confident in Ryan’s leadership. “Yes, I am. I like Speaker Ryan. He worked very, very hard,” Trump said.

The bill faced opposition from Democrats and members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. After praising Ryan’s efforts to pass the bill, Trump acknowledged that the speaker was dealing with internal divisions. “He’s got a lot of factions, and there’s been a long history of liking and disliking even within the Republican Party, long before I got here,” said Trump. Ryan’s predecessor, John Boehner, resigned under pressure from the right wing of his caucus. “But,” Trump continued, “I’ve had a great relationship with the Republican Party.

It seems that both sides like Trump.” However, certain Trump allies were critical of Ryan leading up to the aborted vote and suggested that the blame should fall on the speaker if the bill failed. Ryan would be a natural target for the president, since he was among the Republican establishment figures who were critical of Trump during last year’s presidential campaign.

 Ryan played a role in shaping the plan, although it may not entirely have represented his vision. The plan that was presented to the House would have simultaneously repealed Obamacare and replaced it with a new program in one fell swoop

. According to multiple sources, Ryan and other Republican congressional leaders originally favored a slower approach that would have repealed Obamacare first and allowed for more time to replace it.

Yahoo News asked the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, at his daily press briefing on Friday whether in retrospect, this slower strategy might have been preferable. Spicer rejected the notion that it was only the president’s idea to try to carry out replacement concurrently with repeal. “I don’t know that that’s entirely the case,” Spicer said. He went on to describe the bill as a “joint effort” between the Trump administration and congressional leadership.

 It’s true that Trump was not alone in wanting to carry out both steps at the same time. Many members of Congress embraced this strategy because they were fearful of the political blowback from passing a bill that kicked millions of people off Medicaid — even if that were to be delayed — without being able to show clearly what would they would do instead.

 But there’s no question that Trump pushed Congress both to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to replace it on a timeline that was wildly out of touch with reality. On Jan. 10, Trump told the New York Times that he expected Congress to pass a repeal bill “probably some time next week” and to replace it “very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.”

And at his briefing on Thursday, Spicer said the White House was expecting the bill to pass at a vote that night. Shortly afterward, the news broke that the vote had been postponed.

Ultimately, that delay became permanent. At Spicer’s briefing, Yahoo News also asked if the White House was happy with the way Ryan had handled the effort to pass the bill. Spicer defended the speaker’s efforts on behalf of the legislation and noted that the leadership “can’t force people to vote.” “I think the speaker has done everything he can.

He’s worked really closely with the president,” said Spicer. For his part, Ryan called it a “disappointing day,” at a press conference where he discussed the decision to shelve the bill. “I don’t know what else to say, other than Obamacare’s the law of the land.

It’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced,” Ryan said, adding, “We did not have quite the votes to replace this law. And so, yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don’t know how long it’s going to take us to replace this law.”

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