Why the health care vote is crucial for the GOP

ABC News' MaryAlice Parks, Rick Klein and Ali Rogin explain why the vote on health care is a pivotal moment for the GOP.
10:37 | 03/24/17

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Transcript for Why the health care vote is crucial for the GOP
We've been talking about a potential vote talking at a about a potential vote we saw Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying there. We know we expect there to be a vote and we expect this to go through the Q I use the word yet how big a deal is it. If they can't even get to a vote. Okay so for this. Action applicants. Get it we have we we have a lot of people here on Capitol Hill not only reporters. And and an all members of congress and lobbyists as the packed house bill eighty c.'s own Rick Klein. We have our little house right there only thing is let me bring your hair big data we have our rocks right around. I hope that on the. Acting. What is really big picture at stake for Paul Ryan and the Republicans. If this really doesn't prevent or conserve and it. This is the global game this comedian to speak of it I mean would you put yourself out there like this you have is potentially powerful partnership from Bryant. And Ryan care and the whole idea going all out on this if it fails you've enraged members on both sides of your party. And you have exacerbated these tensions that have always existed inside the Republican conference has always been these uneasy alliances among Republicans Paul Ryan came to power because of that. I after after John Boehner was ousted he was the reluctance speaker dressed in this he's the one guy who could heal the Republican conference all that healing is gone. If you make this push and you fall short. And then you have the relationship with the White House we you know people like Steve batted inside the White House always have been skeptical if not hostile. To Paul Ryan. They're looking for opportunities some of them quietly and very privately looking for opportunities to cut him off so I think Paul Ryans and at the watch out for his job if this does not pass. And you're tied into the early about the fact that outside of Washington. The fact that it could have on the market equity cap for the rest of the country as they start to look to. Republican Party and this is a moment for them to see that they can passed major piece of legislation. And if they can't. As a real rebel fact this is the hushed conversation that you hear around capital Olympia on among lobbyists among people with corporate interest they say. Everything right now is built on the assumption that this is a governing moment and that Donald Trump with Republican majorities in the house the senate is gonna get some things up. Not just the Obama care reform repeal and replace but also tax reform major trade legislation infrastructure. All of that is potentially out the window if this happens when one lobbyist I talked to recently said we have that now realize that he could go over three or over the war on the big stop. That actually is very rare a new president comes in with with his own party in power usually get some things done and the market seems to have built in an expectation. You seen some corrections recently and I think if health care. It was in the fall short actually fail on the house beat UC of a major sell off of potentially major sell off. And even if it is the sort of being in in limbo land I think people workers are disable maybe. Maybe this governing thing isn't gonna happen maybe we're gonna see a lot of paralysis for. Same area that it had a hot you. Edwards and you can absolutely all with that the average climbed around I want to share something with you guys we're just learning and leaking jet with Rick and we can get. All of your reactions Ireland neighbors is now reporting that the press conference here expecting from speaker Rhine at 330 has been postponed. So what kind of message does that Rick they did NL elaborate and nothing. Prices. So while we've been in chit chatting about the details of cell. Neighbors just got word that's Paul Rand has bumped his press conference that was scheduled for fifteen minutes. That it's all about lump as and it's not gonna happen. So I you know I should say on the air here I've got a running that with Jon Karl who all along. That's been saying it's gonna happen I really think so he said of the podcasts are a lot of politics podcast instead of the much appliance. I've always been skeptical of this so I'm not gonna say on the I think in the end zone dances yet but this was always. The this was always in our inspirational thing to to have this vote be put it out there without having the votes to get. To a majority as you guys have been documenting today and they've been hoping that the accumulated power up the White House. And of house leadership would be able to get it done but as you said it's this seesaw and in you add some you lose some and just as the as has been all day working on conservatives we've seen moderates while all come out in. It's steadfast opposition the fact is they've never had the votes on this and the one option that they can't happen is for them to go out there and fail so. You know look it's only 315 Agassi at about nine hours left in in Thursday that they that the vote would definitely happen. But all of the smoke signals on Capitol Hill suggested he'd there's not going to be a vote before midnight tonight. It didn't take a vote if they were totally share at hat tricks patent absolutely not mean part of holding a vote is to show. That it can pass you just don't do that you whip it before that is the official. Formal term to describe counting the votes you with it before and you make sure that you have it. Sign all of the tease our crop failed either gotten before you bring to the floor I thought. Adult enough to remember some times when this afternoon Tom the way we're running house and they ran it very tight and the only seem to it to know where the votes were but there were a couple of times and and that the Medicare expansion. About twelve years ago was the most prominent example where they went out to the floor a couple of votes short. And then sometimes they held little hole for hours to as the twisted arms up there now that was a different era. Yet your marks you also hand out the pots and reality a lot more possibilities he's the I think people were more free of leadership. Then we've seen I think in Fallujah the powers of the house and you can twisting arm on the floor of the as the bout with app that happens a lot less now. And and it's it's harder to do but I think you're right there also this is a social media needs where. It's easier for us in the media to do whip counts and to find out that they're going into the stats don't have the votes of as much harder. Before people went out publicly on Twitter with where there where their vote. A lot of political cover that way when they start to hear they would be the only way out there that the that they have some kind of they wouldn't be the one vote that keeps it from failing. More more more people come on board. I would just point out that I don't think this is a problem with the whip operation right this is they are actively negotiating the bill these are. Disputes about policy so they're just trying to get to that magic to fifteen to sixteen number so it's not really I'm having it's a matter of Paul Ryan not being able to corral the votes count the votes it's it's they didn't have this legislation fully baked. When they started the process when they announced when he started going through committees and voting on little itty bitty parts of it and bringing it to the floor this bill was still being formed yes that is how a lot of legislation gets. Made but not something that's consequential right. Any think the remembers that governing actually is a very new concept. For most of most announcement that like three quarters of Republicans in the house never served under Republican president they were elected in the Obama era. Alone so. Now you each wanting to take votes struck by especially into that this is wanting to take votes when the religion consequences this is actual legislation this this actually impact people's lives you have to explain so. All of the sixty something votes they did to repeal obamacare everyone knew that was just an academic exercise. This matters which is the case the White House is making but it's also an uncomfortable that case to make if you remember congress you've got constituents people that are impacted renew human beings that with the lives of state. I got I let me think here real quick and maybe you can pose this question to rake here as well before we let jog oaks and you're gonna have a busy afternoon and evening ahead of you as well but look the Rick there mention governing is new for a lot of those members it's also new. For this president they pay huge test for him as well he was a key campaign promise right I will repeal and replace obamacare. If they can't go through what does it mean for the larger picture and it comes this administration. But what does this mean for the this administration larger picture that the sense that they're gonna get other things accomplished. Under under normal circumstances yeah all but the B. This be viscerally on something that all the attention is on would be crippling tool to White House. This is a different world that the tunnel his creative. Look let me just describe you guys have been living at the last couple they appear it's chaos up here right now and people running around members of congress senators they hope which way is off. There are silly given things popping. And this is a White House theory. Creating all this chaos and they are the center of the action they can go through that apple in the middle of the of the pond that everyone's got a case all those ripples so. I think there's actually play here or a trump White House that's different than traditional White House what this will be weakened house speaker if this goes down and it will be weakened. Administration because it will they will of whipped they'll struck out on their first that. But he derives power different ways and in acting. He's someone that can get up on that and and move along and is this White House be uniquely equipped because it derives power different ways. About that would otherwise be just a terrible blow. But it will be really interesting to see. Who was then it's in position to offer new policy proposals. As we always thought about with speaker Rai was that he was the walk you think act like the and Medicare and he wanted to get there indignity greedy and work it out that he can't get this passed when they want to go to. Tax reform and he's another big things where do you look to in the city do you look to Mitch McConnell and the senate do you look all of a sudden to the White House that has frankly. Not been super interested in some of the policy. Back you to be felt. And the port remember this as well as the easy part it. Almost every Republican in the country ran on repealing and replacing obamacare. The House of Representatives is the easiest place to get something passed because you're only as simple majority that better whip operation senators represent the decision it's. Bigger majority senators to vote margin he meets if he votes for major legislation and they and because the states are so large you have a lot of competing interest. This is the place where it was supposed to be okay this is a slam dunk and then we move on. Now but the flip side of all of this is that they pulled off whenever with count them out that's a pretty big coup and in and normal circumstances that shouldn't because it's just step one. But that's the way it's set up right now. But I I definitely agree that this is a moment where people are gonna look for leadership and skinny pretty hard line. Are you got a mile to get back to work and it got some long hours at a U Mary Ellis park Rick Klein an Alley Rogan live for a on Capitol Hill thanks guys. Think young. I stay right here for your latest on the developments on this health care Bellwether though it happens or not you could always good abcnews.com for more stick around here out the back expand thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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