The White House has laid down the gauntlet to Paul Ryan and the Congress: No more negotiations, just vote on the "Die and Die Quickly" bill and if the bill dies, it dies.
The first vote, which appears to be a test vote, will take place at 8AM Eastern Daylight Time.
Politico reports that OMB director Mick Mulvaney laid down the final terms in a meeting earlier Thursday, ending by telling them Trump was finished with negotiating, instead demanding an up-or-down vote, regardless of the outcome.
All day Thursday, they did not have the votes. There is no evidence that they will have the votes in the morning. The holdouts are the Freedom Caucus, who believe this beast of a bill doesn't go far enough. They wanted repeal of the ban on annual and lifetime limits, risk corridors for insurers, and more.
There was even talk at one point about lifting the ban on pre-existing conditions, but apparently the White House drew the line at that.
Meanwhile, Trump is apparently having some regrets about taking on health care instead of tax reform. Since he couldn't get a repeal vote on the 7th anniversary -- his way of defiling Barack Obama's legacy -- he wishes he'd never attempted it at all.
Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.
He said ruefully this week that he should have done tax reform first when it became clear that the quick-hit health care victory he had hoped for was not going to materialize on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the act’s passage, when the legislation was scheduled for a vote.
He didn't get his smackdown of Barack Obama, so he really just wants to abandon the whole effort.
I'll be up bright and early to follow the progress of this horrible bill. May it die a horrible death at the hands of the extremists and Birchers in the Freedom Caucus.