WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the American Health Care Act:
"You've all heard me say this before: Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains. And well, we’re feeling those growing pains today.
"We came really close today, but we came up short. I spoke to the president just a little while ago, and I told him the best thing that I think to do is to pull this bill, and he agreed with that decision. I will not sugar coat this: This is a disappointing day fo us. Doing big things is hard. All of us. All of us—myself included—we will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better.
"But ultimately, this all kind of comes down to a choice. Are all of us willing to give a little to get something done? Are we willing to say yes to the good—to the very good—even if it's not the perfect? Because if we're willing to do that, we still have such an incredible opportunity in front of us.
"There remains so much that we can do to help improve people’s lives. And we will.
"Because, I got to tell you, that’s why I’m here. And I know it’s why every member of this conference is here: to make this a better country. We want American families to feel more confident in their lot in life. We want the next generation to know that, yes, the best days of this country are still ahead of us.
"I’m really proud of the bill that we produced. It would make a dramatic improvement in our health care system and provide relief to people hurting under Obamacare. And what's probably most troubling is the worst is yet to come with Obamacare.
"I’m also proud of the long, inclusive, member-driven process that we had. Any member who wanted to engage constructively, to offer ideas, to improve this bill, they could. And I want to thank so many members who helped make this bill better. A lot of our members put a lot of hard work into this.
"I also want to thank the president, I want to thank the vice president, I want to thank Tom Price, Mick Mulvaney, and the entire White House team. The president gave his all in this effort. He did everything he possibly could to help people see the opportunity that we have with this bill. He's really been fantastic.
"Still, we have to do better. And we will. I absolutely believe that. This is a setback. No two ways about it. But it is not the end of this story.
"Because I know that every man and woman in this conference is now motivated more than ever to step up our game. To deliver on our promises. I know that every one is committed to seizing this incredible opportunity that we have. And I sure am."