McCain comes to the front, loudly says “NO” then walks off: pic.twitter.com/vsQ1EolKiM
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) July 28, 2017
The GOP’s seven year quest to repeal Obamacare finally, FINALLY ended (probably) last night in a dramatic floor vote. With Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski firmly in the no camp, the latest iteration of the effort, the so-called skinny repeal was brought down by a dramatic no vote from Senator John McCain.
At about 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, the 80-year-old McCain, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, strolled into the Senate floor, and said simply “no” — along with a thumbs down.
The moment evoked gasps in the chamber as a stone-faced Mitch McConnell stood by. McCain then walked off the Senate floor.
The moment was captured in a bit of unusually riveting television on C-Span.
For McCain, who had been the decisive vote in allowing debate to proceed just days ago, the sticking point boiled down to lack of assurances from the House that the skinny repeal would not become law. He reportedly faced intense lobbying from both Vice-President Pence and President Trump.
The Senate GOP caucus overwhelmingly opposed the skinny repeal (for a variety of reasons) but most voted in favor and accepted assurances from Speaker Paul Ryan that the bill would only be used as a starting point for a conference committee in which a final compromise would be worked out.
Skinny repeal was the Senate’s last best shot as passing something on health care. Other more thorough repeals of Obamacare had failed in the hours before by more significant margins.
[image via screengrab]
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