US Senate rejects Obamacare repeal bill in blow to Trump (Third Lead)

Marsha Scott
July 30, 2017

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME and John McCain of Arizona - the bill went down in suspenseful defeat.

McCain - who flew in from Arizona after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer earlier this week - told reporters, "I thought it was the right vote", while exiting the Capitol.

The "skinny" bill would have repealed Obamacare's individual and employer mandates and denied funding to Planned Parenthood for a year. But "sneaky repeal" is the more honest description, since it is really a means to preserve Republican hopes of more completely destroying the A.C.A., or Obamacare.

While a handful of senators are calling for a conference, others want to vote on the "skinny" bill without any changes. On Thursday, Ryan's spokesperson said that a conference committee between the House and Senate is "one option under consideration".

"I can not tolerate our skinny bill being the final answer on health care".

Unable to pass even a so-called "skinny repeal", it was unclear if Senate Republicans could advance any health bill despite seven years of promises to repeal "Obamacare".

The two senators along with Maine's Susan Collins joined Democrats in defeating the bill. The Senate is mere hours away from voting on a health care bill that has still not been publicly released.

"We expect the Senate to act first on whatever the conference committee produces", the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement Thursday.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stoked Democrats' fears by warning members to keep their travel plans flexible.

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But various versions of the Senate bill have failed to garner the needed support to get through the chamber, leaving House Republicans as the only members on record voting for legislation that is politically unpopular.

Democrats repeatedly have said they are willing to work with Republicans on problems with the Obamacare insurance exchanges, and efforts to bring down skyrocketing insurance premiums and deductibles.

But in an interview with the Kansas News Service earlier in the week, he agreed with McCain's call for a bipartisan approach.

Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY extended an olive branch in advance of the contentious decision by GOP leaders Tuesday to rush some version of a Republican-only health care bill through the Senate this week.

Moran did just that, casting one of the final votes for the bill around 2 a.m.

After another setback to this agenda Friday, Trump wrote, "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down".

With but a two-vote majority, they can only spare two defections. It's time to send legislation to the president that will finally move our country beyond the failures of Obamacare.

Still, it wasn't too long ago that health care talks seemed to be dead in the House of Representatives, only for them to resume.

But the parliamentarian advised that the language would violate the rules of reconciliation, the fast track budget maneuver Republicans are using that only needs 51 votes and is immune to Democratic filibuster.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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