The Senate struck down its last-ditch bill to repeal and replace Obamacare early Friday morning in a contentious 51-49 vote, but it appears Senate leadership didn’t have much faith in the bill from the start.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Thursday evening before the Senate even released the text of the legislation — the “skinny repeal” — that he did not believe the bill had a chance of becoming law.
The skinny repeal was Senate leadership’s last push to repeal Obamacare, and it was expected to be simply a vehicle to get to a conference with the House. At that point, Republicans would hammer out any remaining differences and hopefully come to a consensus on a bill they could send to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to garner enough support to move forward on the motion to proceed on the skinny repeal just after 1:30 a.m. Friday morning.
Three Republicans voted against the measure — Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine — joining 48 of their Democratic colleagues in voting against the measure.
The failure is a blow to McConnell, who has pushed for months to try to settle disagreements within his own party regarding the best way to overhaul the American health care system. The Senate leader faced constant bickering between conservatives who wanted to completely repeal Obamacare and moderate Republicans who wanted guarantees of funding going forward for the bill’s Medicaid expansion. Democrats added another obstacle, which proved insurmountable throughout the repeal effort.
The Senate leader gave a rather impassioned speech on the floor Friday morning.
“From skyrocketing costs to plummeting choices and collapsing markets, our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under Obamacare. We thought they deserved better” McConnell said. “It’s why I, and many of my colleagues, did as we promised and voted to repeal this failed law. We told our constituents we would vote that way. When the moment came, most of us did. We kept our commitments.”
Send tips to email@example.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.