'Skinny' repeal fails with McCain's decisive vote in 2 A.M. Senate session

The GOP’s "skinny" repeal bill was rejected in an early morning  Senate session Friday due to a deciding vote by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., sided with Democrats to vote against the bill, according to CNN.

The bill would have eliminated both the employer and individual insurance mandates as well as the medical device tax. It was seen by many as a potential placeholder that would create momentum for future GOP legislation that would have more fully repealed and replaced the ACA. However, the party’s desired momentum was abruptly halted by Mr. McCain, Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Collins. The latter two senators also voted against the motion to proceed with healthcare debate Tuesday.

The vote was held close to 2 a.m., and Mr. McCain was seen speaking at length with Vice President Mike Pence before he cast his vote, which drew audible gasps from some in the chamber. Mr. Pence would have acted as the tiebreaking vote, as he did Tuesday with the motion to proceed, if the skinny bill had received 50 votes both for and against. However, with Mr. McCain’s deciding vote, the bill failed 51-49.

"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," Mr. McCain said in a statement. "We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable healthcare for the American people.”

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