The White House said Friday the House will vote on the Republican healthcare plan despite serious doubts it has the votes to pass.
“The House will be voting on the American Health Care Act, the current vote is scheduled for 3:30," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
He spoke as President Trump met with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.), who has struggled to break conservative and moderate opposition to the bill.
Spicer said Trump and Ryan were talking "to see where that vote count stands."
The spokesman touted Trump's efforts to sell the bill, saying "he’s left everything on the field when it comes to this bill.”
Spicer put on a bold face, repeatedly expressing optimism even though every public whip count, including The Hill’s, show the legislation without enough votes to pass.
He joked with reporters who asked him questions about what the White House would do if the bill failed, asking his questioners why they were being so gloomy and pressing for someone to be optimistic about the bill's chances.
But the spokesman also appeared resigned to the reality at times that the bill could go down.
“At the end of the day, you can’t force somebody to do something,” he said.
Later, he said that the United States was "not a dictatorship" and that Trump couldn't force GOP lawmakers to vote a certain way.
Ben Kamisar contributed.