The healthcare debate begins, with House Rules Committee formally sending the Republican healthcare bill to the House floor Friday morning. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Republican lawmakers struggling to overcome differences over new healthcare legislation confronted a stark choice after President Donald Trump delivered an ultimatum: pass the bill on Friday (March 24) or keep Obamacare in place. Trump, a real estate magnate who touted his dealmaking prowess in the 2016 presidential campaign, faced the first major test of how well his skills would translate in Congress. Days of negotiations failed to produce a deal amid opposition from moderates and conservatives in his own Republican Party, and it was far from clear the bill had enough support to pass. Financial markets, which have been buoyed by Trump's plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending, are watching closely. U.S. stock markets fell on Thursday as Republican leaders delayed a vote, and European stock markets opened lower on Friday, although the U.S. equity market looked set for a higher open. The House of Representatives was set to vote late Friday afternoon on the Trump-backed bill to replace Democratic President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act. "Lawmakers will have to be accountable as to why they didn't vote to get rid of Obamacare when they had the chance, and that chance is today," White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CBS "This Morning." The House Rules Committee, which sets the duration of the debate on legislation and decides whether amendments will be allowed to be offered, was expected to formally send the Republican healthcare bill to the House floor on Friday morning. Democrats uniformly oppose the bill, and it appeared to lack the needed Republican support as well, despite last-minute changes intended to broaden its appeal.