The US House of Representatives cancelled a Thursday vote on legislation to overhaul the US health care system after around two dozen conservatives refused to back President Donald Trump's first major legislative push, Republican lawmakers said.
The bill to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, ex-president Barack Obama's signature health care policy, faced opposition not only from Democrats, but from more than 20 hard-line Republicans and a handful of the party's moderates.
Repealing and replacing the 2010 law, known as Obamacare, had been one of the top campaign pledges made by President Donald Trump and other Republicans during last year's election.
The deficit in support came despite vigorous lobbying by Trump. The president reportedly coaxed and threatened Republicans earlier this week to vote for the reforms or face political consequences, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy, leader of the Republican majority in the lower chamber, said a procedural vote could still be held late Thursday to begin debate on the legislation, which was introduced by House leaders in early March.
None of Obama's left-leaning Democrats are expected to support the House measure.
Nancy Pelosi, leader of the minority Democrats in the House, needled Trump, a political novice who touts his negotiating skill and once published "The Art of the Deal," a book of business strategies.
"Donald Trump: You may be a great negotiator," she said Thursday. "Rookie's error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you're not ready."