"As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode", he added, "then deal". It was expected that Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins would vote against it, which they did, as they have been voting across party lines throughout the health care debacle. John McCain returned to the Capitol for the first time after being diagnosed with brain cancer to cast a decisive "yes" vote.
As the U.S. Senate edged towards a late-night vote on a pared-down bill to repeal Obamacare, House Speaker Paul Ryan assured Senate Republicans that if they approve a bill that many do not want to become law, the House will help them craft different legislation.
Republicans said they were still trying to work out what would be in a skinny repeal, which could simply eliminate mandates requiring individuals and employers to obtain or provide health insurance, and abolish a tax on medical device manufacturers.
The bill would also have cut off federal funds for women's health organisation Planned Parenthood for one year.
"This is clearly a disappointing moment", said majority leader Mitch McConnell.
At the same time, Meadows said, he's thinks the House and Senate might feel enough pressure to forge a final agreement. McCain said, raising his voice as he urged senators to reach for the comity of earlier times. Far-right Freedom Caucus Republicans fought with less conservative Republicans (let's dispense with the notion that they're moderates, please) over exactly how many millions of people should have their health care stripped from them. It's an unusual and perhaps unprecedented way to draft a bill that will affect millions of Americans and a large chunk of the economy, to say the least. Yet most Republicans argue that failing to deliver on their promises to pass repeal-and-replace legislation would be worse than passing an unpopular bill, because it would expose the GOP as unable to govern despite controlling majorities in the House, Senate and White House. With Democrats unanimously opposed, McConnell could lose only two Republicans in the 52-48 Senate.
"It seems the Republican majority is no clearer on what the end game is, because there's no good way out of this", said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY. We are not celebrating. Pat Toomey "I am disappointed with this setback on efforts to fix our broken health care system". "This effort will continue", he said.
But with three Republicans voting against the measure - Sens.
Mr Ryan seemingly opened a path for Mr McConnell earlier on Thursday evening by signalling a willingness to negotiate a more comprehensive bill with the Senate. He said lawmakers should write a bill with "input from all of our members, Republicans and Democrats" and "stop the political gamesmanship".
Healthcare industry organizations said the Republican proposal would be a disaster for insurance markets because individual mandates are considered to be critical in holding down the cost of premiums.
Both senators said they could not support bills that would leave millions of people without health insurance. But shortly afterward, his words received varied responses from three GOP senators who'd insisted on a clear commitment from Ryan. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Opponents mobilized quickly against McConnell's trimmed-down bill.
The details of the narrow bill remain unclear, but senators are reportedly considering eliminating the individual mandate, which requires all US citizens to have health insurance or face a penalty.