McCain kills Senate health care bill
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
The Senate's health care bill is dead, and Sen. John McCain cast the deciding vote to kill it. Shortly after midnight, McCain — along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins — voted not to adopt the"skinny repeal" bill that had become Republicans' last ditch effort to keep hopes of repealing at least part of the Affordable Care Act alive. The bill ultimately failed 49-51.
Trump tweets: "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!"
- As the vote approached, McCain was talking on the floor with Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who came away smiling, and Republican Whip John Cornyn, who flashed a thumbs-down sign.
- GOP leaders held a separate vote open for roughly an hour as they tried to prevent their bill from collapsing. Vice President Mike Pence intensely lobbied McCain, who was flanked by Collins and Murkowski.
- Both Schumer and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a little emotional as they addressed the chamber after the vote was finally called, a little after 1:30 a.m. — McConnell while talking about how long Republicans have been promising to repeal the ACA, and Schumer when acknowledging McCain's speech this week about bipartisanship.
McCain returned to the Capitol in dramatic fashion earlier this week after being diagnosed with brain cancer, and GOP leaders couldn't have begun the health-care debate without his vote. But he went on to sharply criticize the process through which the bill was drafted, and said he wouldn't vote for the measure unless he was sure it wouldn't become law.
"It's time to move on," McConnell said after the vote.
"I regret that we're here, but I want to say again I'm proud of the vote I cast tonight, consistent with what we told the American people we'd try to accomplish, in four straight elections," McConnell said.