On Tuesday, it was looking up for Republicans when a 51-50 vote brought the Senate closer to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
All that changed in the wee hours of Friday morning when a 49-51 vote derailed the GOP’s seven-year mission to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Although the Senate knew that Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) would vote against the “skinny repeal” plan, an unexpected “nay” from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) changed the game.
Vice President Pence had previously broken the tie for the 51-50 vote. The Republicans could not afford to lose one vote on Friday mroning.
“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict party-line basis without a single Republican vote,” McCain said in a statement after placing his vote.
“We should not make the mistakes of the past,” he added.
President Trump tweeted:
If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60...
...Even though parts of healthcare could pass at 51, some really good things need 60. So many great future bills & budgets need 60 votes....