Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., hopes lawmakers can come back with stronger health care bill
March 24, 2017
Republican leaders abruptly pulled their health care overhaul bill off the House floor Friday, short of the 216 votes needed to pass the bill.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., called the move "disappointing."
"I hope we come back with a stronger bill, a bill that gives Americans more freedom, and I'll be happy to vote on that," Buck said in a phone call Friday afternoon.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., withdrew the legislation after President Trump called him and asked to halt debate without a vote, according to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong.
On Thursday, Trump demanded a House vote and said he would move on to other issues if the measure was lost. Those comments came after some members of the House Freedom Caucus came out against the bill. They argued the bill didn't do enough to roll back Obamacare regulations, dubbing it "Obamacare Lite." Trump lashed out against the group Friday morning, taking to Twitter to express his displeasure.
"The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Without any Democrats supporting the bill, all it took was 23 Republican "no" votes to make the bill's passage unlikely.
Buck, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said the caucus was just as split as other Republican groups.
"The House Freedom Caucus was split, as was the liberal Republican groups," he said. "There isn't a particular side that was opposed to this. There was a split all across the caucus."
In a press conference after pulling the legislation, Ryan said Obamacare will continue to be the law of the land for the foreseeable future. Trump said he believes Democrats will work with Republicans on a health care bill "when (Obamacare) explodes."
Buck echoed Trump's belief Obamacare is on a failing path.
"I think it's important to repeal Obamacare because it's a law that's in a death spiral right now, and we've got to give Americans some relief," Buck said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.