The House of Representatives will push back the vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," after sources say that the GOP has not been able to garner enough supportive votes to pass the measure.
Republicans originally intended to vote on the repeal bill on March 23, the seventh anniversary of the passage of Obamacare, but instead they will meet that evening to come up with a definitive plan with which to move forward to get the votes they need, reports CNBC.
If the controversial healthcare measure gets tied up, it could set back President Donald Trump and top members of the GOP, who have said that they plan to replace the ACA before moving on to other pressing policy issues, including implementing a sweeping system of tax cuts.
According to a White House spokesperson, the House will begin debating the bill in the evening of March 23.
"It's going to pass," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the media when asked what Republicans would do in the event that the measure did not get enough votes, according to CNBC. "So that's it."
House leaders are looking to wrap up the voting process by the morning of March 24, reports CNN. But while negotiations continued on March 23, Freedom Caucus Chairman Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said that there might be as many as 30 to 40 GOP representatives who currently oppose the bill. CNN confirmed that there were 26 who do not support it. Since no Democrats are expected to approve the proposed American Health Care Act, Republicans cannot have more than 21 of their own who do not vote for it in order to pass it with 216 votes.
"We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes at this point," Meadows said, according to CNN.
One White House official told CNN that they "still don't have the votes" but are hoping that the upcoming debate will "force their hand" to pass it.
Before the delay, Trump's team projected an air of confidence that they they would have a new health law in effect soon.
"Through an open and deliberative process, the president and his team have helped to negotiate a very, very strong bill," said Spicer. "He was on the phone last night well into the 11 o'clock hour with members on an individual basis discussing their support for the bill."