The Senate has dealt a devastating setback to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, defeating a GOP "skinny repeal" bill early Friday morning. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were the GOP's lone "no" votes.
Sen. John McCain's "no" vote on the "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act in the early hours of Friday was a decisive, and somewhat unexpected, vote. McConnell said that "we'll find out what support it enjoys" among Democrats.
KEITH: So as you say, this piece of legislation, this thing that they were voting on, the so-called skinny repeal - many of them thought it was awful and didn't want it to become law. And then John McCain of Arizona voted no, leaving Republicans one vote short.
The Senate has rejected a measure to repeal parts of former President Barack Obama's health law, dealing a serious blow to President Donald Trump and the GOP agenda.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and McCain have "been friends for a very long time" and McCain showed "amazing courage" in voting with the Democrats.
The reform would have repealed a mandate that most individuals get health insurance and would have suspended a requirement that large companies provide coverage to their employees. It provided health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans, but was denounced from the outset by Republicans who viewed it as government intrusion on people's healthcare decisions. "We are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been drastically hurt by the three proposals will be able to retain their healthcare".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other Republican leaders had still not unveiled the contents of this bare-bones legislation ahead of an expected marathon succession of votes that promises to drag into Friday morning.
He claimed the current checks and balances are making the Republicans "look like fools" and called on the party's Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, to scrap the "outdated" rule.
A House GOP leadership aide said no determinations have been made how a Senate-passed skinny-repeal bill might be handled in the other chamber.
Some members said, however, that now it's time to reach across the aisle. He added that he believes his House Republican colleagues would follow: "If it comes down for the binary choice of voting for skinny repeal or keeping all of Obamacare in place ..."
In a statement released early this morning, Johnson said he was "disappointed not only in the failure to pass legislation to begin to fix the damage done by Obamacare, but also in the dysfunctional process that directly led to this result".
Advocates are breathing a sigh of relief after a pared down health care repeal was rejected by the U.S. Senate, but they say that threats to disability services remain.
Akin to Mr. Trump's recent discovery about health care, it turns out that leadership is incredibly complicated.
"I agree with @SenJohnMcCain that the bill on the table clearly isn't the right approach for Arizona", Ducey wrote on Twitter on Thursday afternoon before the vote.
The process allows lawmakers to vote on critical pieces of the health law without giving Democrats a chance to filibuster.
Afterward, it was a different story, with the president tweeting at 2:25 a.m. ET that those who voted no had "let the American people down". "They want to pass this bill, skinny repeal, and send it to the President".
Seven Republicans joined all Democrats Wednesday in a 45-55 vote defeating the plan.
The Senate, meanwhile, will return to Washington next week for additional votes on nominations and a defense policy bill.