Sen. John McCain Rejects New Healthcare Bill

The Senate has caused a major setback for the Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare by defeating a GOP “skinny repeal” bill early this morning.

Senate Republicans failed to pass a curtailed Obamacare repeal bill on a vote of 49-51, which saw three of their own perilously break ranks, as reported by NBC News. The late-night debate completed the GOP’s month long struggle to accomplish a seven-year goal to repeal Obamacare.

CNN reports that Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins enlisted Democrats to oppose the bill, which serves as a significant setback for President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional plan.

McCain voted for a motion to proceed with the bill earlier this week after arriving back in Washington following surgery for a brain turner. In a news conference, McCain scrutinized the one-sided process that led to the after-midnight vote.

Per NBC News, the Senate has attempted to pass various versions of repeal: repeal and replace, a straight repeal and Friday’s “bare bones” repeal, still none received the support of 50 Republicans.

Vice President Mike Pence reported to the chamber in hopes of rescuing the bill and in precaution to give the deciding vote. Pence stood amongst McCain’s desk and alongside the senator in the cloakroom. Once they came back, separately, the voting process started.

Many Republicans claim that they did not know what McCain’s decision would be. NBC News reports that there were “audible gasps” in the chamber when he revealed a vote of “no.”

After the vote, McCain asked to return to the committee process and criticized the current health care efforts with regards to the impassioned floor speech he gave Tuesday when he returned to the capital.

CNN reports that McCain stated, “I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote,” McCain said in a statement. “We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of an aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

The New York Times reports that with the bill only receiving 4 votes, there is a demonstration that even after weeks of adjusting the legislation, Senate leaders still did not have the support for their replacement plan, from all sides of the party’s “ideological spectrum.”

Sen. McCain formerly made it evident that he wanted to include amendments to the repeal-and replace bill. His vote could be a symbol of support for that approach.

 – Contributed by Amaya Starkey

WHUR Contributor

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