Donald Trump's US healthcare bill vote withdrawn

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at Capitol HillImage copyright
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House Speaker Paul Ryan said this was “not the end of the story”

A vote on US President Donald Trump’s healthcare bill has been withdrawn at the last minute after it failed to gain enough support to pass in Congress.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and Mr Trump agreed to pull the vote, after it became apparent it would not get the minimum of 215 Republican votes needed.

The withdrawal is seen as a huge blow to Mr Trump.

Repealing and replacing the programme known as Obamacare was one of his major election pledges.

Earlier on Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the vote would go ahead at 15:30 (19:30 GMT).

‘Came up short’

Mr Trump had reportedly warned Republicans that if they did not vote for his bill then they would be stuck with Barack Obama’s healthcare programme for good.

However, multiple reports suggested that between 28 and 35 Republicans were opposed to his bill.

The vote was withdrawn shortly after 15:30, and the House is now in recess.

Some Republicans were unhappy that the bill cut health coverage too severely, while others felt the changes did not go far enough.

“We came really close today, but we came up short,” Mr Ryan told reporters.

“We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” he added – but vowed that it was “not the end of the story”.

Mr Trump told a Washington Post reporter that efforts on the healthcare bill were over for now.

The White House says Mr Trump will make a statement later on Friday.

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