Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unable to pass a bill repealing Obamacare, but colleagues aren’t blaming him for its failure, according to a Tuesday report.
Three Republicans voted against the bill — Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — which were enough votes to kill the measure, meaning the majority of the spotlight is going to McCain’s last-minute decision to vote against it.
The president slammed the three senators on his official Twitter account minutes after the second vote took place.
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, then deal. Watch!” he tweeted early Friday morning.
“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people,” McCain’s office said in an official press release after the vote.
“The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens,” the statement concluded.
McConnell pushed the bill to a vote early, forcing the bill to skip the requisite committee hearings and other procedures a bill goes through before ever seeing an official vote on the Senate floor, something McCain criticized because it meant key lawmakers didn’t know the specifics of the bill under consideration.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and McCain both criticized the way the bill came to a vote. The Utah senator sat on the working group that was supposed to write the bill, but he had yet to see the full text of it before the vote.
Other members of Republican leadership assert that passing health care was a nearly impossible task, and don’t fault McConnell. “McConnell needed to pitch a perfect game in order to pass healthcare,” an unnamed lawmaker told The Hill. “Unfortunately, he pitched a two-hitter.”
Even Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appeared confident Republicans would pass a health care bill in the end. “I believe we’ll come back after all the victory laps by the Democrats on health care, all the media exultations, I believe we’ll come back and honor our promise,” the senator said.
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