The news headlines regarding the American Health Care Act (formally, H.R.1628) suggest that by failing to be put to a vote, the bill is dead and we can move on with our lives. Is that actually true?

From my understanding, the bill has been postponed until the Speaker decides to renew discussion. According to the actions taken on the bill, it has been:

03/24/2017-3:30pm POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS - Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule 19, further consideration of H.R. 1628 is postponed. Action By: House of Representatives

Clause 1(c) of rule 19 of the House Rules states (emphasis mine):

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), when the previous question is operating to adoption or passage of a measure pursuant to a special order of business, the Chair may postpone further consideration of such measure in the House to such time as may be designated by the Speaker.

Does this mean that the bill may be re-activated so to speak, at any time, by the Speaker?

Is this why they would withdraw the vote, rather than put the bill to a vote and risk it failing (which would kill it permanently)?


2 Answers 2


Officially you are correct, it is not dead. That is a tangential benefit to the bill being withdrawn (but its not the primary reason).

Practically though, its dead. There is no real chance for it to come back in any effectual way, at least not for the foreseeable future.


While nothing precludes the possibility of any plans being made in the future, for now there are no plans, and the wind has been taken out of their sails, so to speak. When he announced that the AHCA had been pulled from consideration, Speaker Ryan, who is the person responsible for setting the House agenda, said

We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.

This means Speaker Ryan, and thus the House, has no plans, and no intention, of doing anything about Obamacare.

However, circumstances may change, and Congress may take up the issue again. But for now, when and how is anybody's guess.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .