Democrats react to collapse of GOP health care bill: 'So much for "The Art of the Deal"'

For his part, President Donald Trump blamed Democrats.

ByABC News
March 24, 2017, 7:45 PM

— -- “So much for 'The Art of the Deal.'”

Those were the words of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who, along with several of his Democratic colleagues on the Hill, declared victory today after the Republican-backed health care bill failed to come to a vote on the House floor.

“In my life, I’ve never seen an administration as incompetent as the one in the White House today," Schumer said on a conference call this afternoon. “They can’t get their story straight, and today we’ve learned they can’t count votes and they can’t close a deal.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) at the last minute this afternoon at the request of President Donald Trump, a GOP aide told ABC News. Ryan said they pulled the bill because they couldn't get enough "yes" votes for it to succeed on the floor.

Others in addition to Schumer rejoiced over the bill's collapse.

“Today is a great day for our country, it's a victory -- what happened on the floor is a victory for the American people, for our seniors, for people with disabilities, for our children, for our veterans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said at a press conference.

“The defeat of the disastrous Trump-Ryan health care bill is a major victory for working families and everyone who stood up in opposition,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said in a statement.

Some Democrats, however, urged their colleagues and allies not to celebrate too heartily and to continue their work.

“Don't gloat; get ready for round 2. Organize!,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, tweeted.

“I'm not doing a touchdown dance today,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, wrote on Twitter. “Not when the GOP is still hell-bent on rigging the system for the rich & powerful.”

Across the aisle, some Republican lawmakers also applauded the defeat of AHCA, which some believed did not go far enough in rolling back the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people and standing up against Obamacare Lite,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said in a statement. “I look forward to passing full repeal of Obamacare in the very near future.”

Conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said he remained committed to working with Trump on a “full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement with a market-driven approach.”

Although he ultimately called the bill “fundamentally flawed,” Ryan nonetheless expressed disappointment at the outcome.

“I will not sugarcoat this. This is a disappointing day for us,” he said. His regrets were echoed by several of his Republican colleagues.

“Obamacare is failing the American people and I deeply appreciate the efforts of the speaker and the president to keep our promise to repeal and replace it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a statement. “I share their disappointment that this effort came up short.”

For his part, Trump blamed Democrats for the bill's failure. "We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats," he said this afternoon, calling Schumer and Pelosi "the losers" in the situation.

ABC News' Sarah Kolinovsky contributed to this report.

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