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Ryan presses forward on Obamacare repeal despite GOP squeamishness

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on Jan. 10, 2017, to discuss efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

After the Senate voted 51-48 on Thursday to instruct key committees to draft a resolution to repeal Obamacare, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) promised a vote on the measure in House of Representatives on Friday.

Arguing that President Barack Obama's health care plan is in a death spiral, Ryan said: "We've got to intervene to prevent this from getting worse."

He added that he agrees with President-elect Donald Trump that Republicans bear the responsibility of repealing and replacing the law simultaneously, saying that he and Trump are "in complete sync."

Although the resolution approved by the Senate offers a target date of Jan. 27, Ryan told reporters that he would not give any deadline for the repeal to be finalized.

"We're not holding hard deadlines because we want to get it right," Ryan said. "We're going to do this the way Congress is supposed to work, but we do need to move quickly."

CNN reported that as many as 20 conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus are resistant to the measure, with some becoming increasingly worried they will be blamed for any negative fallout associated with the Affordable Care Act's repeal, especially without a replacement plan. Some members of the Freedom Caucus are also upset that the reconciliation bill that Ryan intends to use to repeal Obamacare does not include the spending cuts that they requested. Some moderates have also expressed both public and private worry that they will face political consequences in swing districts.

Politically, however, the GOP likely has little wiggle room with their base in terms of repealing the law, having campaigned on explicit promises to immediately repeal the law since the day of its passage. Chris Bond, a spokesman for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, said the GOP leader isn't anticipating any issue with the vote clearing the House, and stressed that the vote would not be delayed.

"We're looking forward to a good vote on Friday," Bond said.

One last thing…
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