McConnell Emotional After Obamacare Repeal Vote Fails: 'This Is a Disappointment Indeed'

30 July, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • US Sen. Schumer Gives Thanks to McCain Murkowski and Collins

Senate Republicans were closer than ever to finally repealing Obamacare. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME and John McCain of Arizona - the bill went down in suspenseful defeat.

"It is time to move on", McConnell said.

"We've got to have Republicans and Democrats sit down together and come up with a bill that gets a majority in both houses, otherwise we're going to see this continuous gridlock", McCain said.

"The reality, however, is that repealing and replacing Obamacare still ultimately requires the Senate to produce 51 votes for an actual plan", he said.

The bill, released only 3 hours before voting began, would have retroactively repealed Obamacare's individual mandate, alongside an 8-year repeal of penalties on certain businesses which did not provide employees with insurance, a repeal of the medical device tax until 2020 and the defunding of Planned Parenthood for at least 1 year.

The decision by McCain to vote no came after weeks of brinkmanship and after his dramatic return from cancer treatment to cast the 50th vote to start debate on the bill earlier this week.

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McCain himself campaigned heavily on the "Obamacare" repeal issue previous year as he won re-election to a sixth and nearly certainly final Senate term.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) implored Republicans to work with Democrats to fix problems associated with Obamacare just hours after the upper chamber defeated repeal legislation. President Donald Trump blasted congressional Democrats and "a few Republicans" over the collapse of the GOP effort to rewrite the Obama health care law. "Watch!" Trump wrote in Twitter in his response to the failed bill.

Graham's criticisms of the bill he might vote for were the most scathing. "Passing this legislation will allow us to work with our colleagues in the House toward a final bill that can go to the president, repeal Obamacare, and undo its damage".

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said he was caught off guard by McCain's decision, adding he's open to a bipartisan approach in the future, but has found it hard to get Democrats to work with them on health care. "McCain is a fighter", said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky during a Senate floor speech Tuesday. "We are not celebrating. Now is not the time to leave American health care at risk".

Ryan responded not long after with a discursive and far from definitive statement that blamed the Senate for being unable to pass anything, but said, "if moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do". Senators who vote for the "skinny repeal" proposal would be creating the conditions for deep cuts that aren't in the "skinny" bill itself but would emerge from the conference. Senate Republicans first unveiled their health care plan, largely drafted in private, in June, but were never able to get enough support to advance it. McConnell's careful maneuvering, and the promise that the coolly received "skinny" bill would be reworked in House conference, didn't sway McCain or fellow GOP Sens.

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