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Pelosi: House GOP's health care failure is a 'victory for the American people

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to the media Friday on Capitol Hill about the Republican health care bill. "It's a victory. What happened on the floor is a victory for the American people — for our seniors, for people with disabilities, for our children, for our veterans," Pelosi said. (Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led House Democrats on a victory lap Friday afternoon after House Republicans' contentious health care bill was pulled before a floor vote.

"Today is a great day for our country," Pelosi said during a news conference. "It's a victory. What happened on the floor is a victory for the American people — for our seniors, for people with disabilities, for our children, for our veterans."

The contentious health care plan — officially called the American Health Care Act but often referred to as TrumpCare or RyanCare — suffered a humiliating defeat Friday after House GOP leadership failed to muster up enough votes to pass it through the lower chamber. Aside from Democrats, the bill lacked support from the powerful conservative House Freedom Caucus, which contended it lacked key provisions important to conservatives.

Flanked by other House Democrats, Pelosi praised the health care legislation's failure Friday and celebrated that it would not come to fruition, saying it would have been an "assault" on Americans. She also referred to it as a "tax bill disguised as a health care bill."

"It's pretty exciting for us," Pelosi said. "Yesterday, our anniversary [of Obamacare], today a victory for the Affordable Care Act and more importantly the American people."

New York Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) also did not hold back on his excitement of the AHCA's failure Friday as he addressed it with reporters.

"If you sense a little exuberance on our part ... it's on behalf of the American people," Crowley said.

When asked if it's possible for Democrats to work with Republicans on health care, Pelosi pointed to a number of times she worked with former Republican President George W. Bush on a variety of issues.

"We have a responsibility to find common ground, but it depends on motivation," Pelosi said. "If the motivation is spite, that they're going to pass this bill yesterday because it was the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act ... they might have had a bill that was successful."

Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) placed the blame squarely on Republicans for not working with Democrats.

"If Republicans care seriously about wanting a better way for health care, they will work with Democrats" to improve the Affordable Care Act as it is, she said.

Sánchez said that Democrats can "breathe a sigh of relief" that the "just plain heartless" AHCA did not pass.

[graphiq id="8lySbTpERcV" title="Approval of the AHCA" width="600" height="599" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/8lySbTpERcV" ]

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