White House: 'Not there yet' on healthcare bill

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said Congress is not ready to go ahead with a vote on major healthcare legislation, despite expressions of optimism from other aides. 

“We’re getting closer and closer every day, but we’re not there yet,” Spicer said when asked if there are enough votes in the House to put a bill on the floor.

Spicer said that the White House was not going to set a timeline and that it’s up to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Ryan signals support for sanctions if Saudis killed Khashoggi MORE (R-Wis.) and House GOP leadership to call a vote. He expressed confidence that the new GOP proposal to repeal and replace ObamaCare is going in the right direction.


“I would never want to get in front of the Speaker,” Spicer said. “We have a good whip count. Ultimately, the Speaker and House leadership determine when to call a vote.”

“We feel confident in the direction it’s going, seeing more and more members come on board. We feel very good.”

The comments came after White House chief of staff and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn expressed confidence a vote would be held this week. 

“I think we do,” Cohn said on CBS News when asked if Republicans had enough votes to pass it. 

“This is going to be a great week,” he said. “We’re going to get healthcare down to the floor of the House. We’re convinced we’ve got the votes, and we’re going to keep moving on with our agenda.”

During a separate interview with CBS, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said he believes there will be a vote this week.

"I certainly hope so. ... I think it will happen this week,” he said. 

The White House's penchant for setting arbitrary deadlines for congressional action on repealing and replacing ObamaCare has irked top GOP offices.

Yet time is running out for the House to act on the healthcare bill, with the budget window set to close later this month.

The Hill's whip count indicates the latest version of the bill might not have enough support to pass the House.