The U. S. Senate voted Tuesday, July 25, 2017, on a procedural motion to begin debate on the plan to repeal Obamacare outright and replace it within two years – after Vice President Mike Pence voted to break a 50-50 tie and ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain slammed the chamber’s secretive process.
Moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined all Democrats to vote against the motion, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky proposed after two previous versions of a healthcare bill failed to attract enough votes.
Several GOP senators switched their positions after saying as recently as last week that they would not support a complete Obamacare repeal without replacement. They were Sens. Shelly Moore Caputo of West Virginia, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rob Portman of Ohio and Dean Heller of Nevada. While these Republican Senators voted to begin debate, they may not vote for any of the pending proposals to ”repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.
McCain, 80, who was diagnosed with brain cancer after undergoing surgery 11 days ago, returned to the Senate to vote for the procedural motion. “I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments be offered,” McCain said. “I will not vote for this bill as it is today. It’s a shell of a bill right now. We all know that.”
He called for both parties to work together to bring forth legislation that would improve healthcare for all Americans.
“We keep trying to win without help from the other side of the aisle,” McCain said. “We are getting nothing done, my friends, we’re getting nothing done.”
Democratic Senate leaders urged voters to continue to call their Senators, especially Republicans not to vote to destroy coverage for millions of people who need healthcare.
In Alabama, call Senator Richard Shelby at 202/224-5744; and Senator Luther Strange at 202/224-4124. In other states call the central Capitol switchboard at 800-826-3688 and follow the verbal prompts.