Either you’re paying attention to the sh-tshow in Congress or you’re not. I made my peace, months ago, that the Republican majority was going to take away healthcare for millions of Americans out of spite, hatred and ignorance, and so far, I haven’t seen anything to convince me otherwise, even though there has been some “good news” this week (“good news” on a sliding scale of crap to hellfire). This week has been the week of healthcare votes. I won’t get into specifics (because I hate this so much), but late last night and into the morning, the Senate voted on something called a Skinny Repeal. Basically, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has worked out several different versions of Obamacare repeals and McConnellcare bills and they’re just trying to pass ONE of them. So what happened with the Skinny Repeal? John McCain happened.
Senate Republicans suffered a dramatic failure early Friday in their bid to advance a scaled-back plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, throwing into question whether they can actually repeal the 2010 health law.
Their latest effort to redraw the ACA failed after Sen. John McCain’s decision to side with two other Republicans against President Trump and GOP leaders. The Arizona Republican, diagnosed with brain cancer last week, returned to Washington on Tuesday and delivered a stirring address calling for a bipartisan approach to overhauling the ACA, while criticizing the process that produced the current legislation. It was a speech that laid the groundwork for Friday’s dramatic vote.
The vote was 49 to 51 — all 48 members of the Democratic caucus joined with McCain and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to block the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had hoped to approve the new, narrower rewrite of the health law at some point Friday, after facing dozens of amendments from Democrats. But the GOP defections left McConnell without a clear path forward.
“Our only regret is that we didn’t achieve what we hoped to accomplish,” McConnell said after the failed vote. In a dejected tone, he pulled the entire legislation from consideration and set up votes on nominations that will begin Monday.
“It is time to move on,” McConnell said, culminating a nearly 75-minute set of roll calls. In a last-minute rescue bid, Vice President Pence — there to be the tie-breaking vote if needed — stood at McCain’s desk for 21 minutes cajoling the senator to no avail.
McCain and Pence then walked to the Republican cloak room to confer in private and later to the lobby off the Senate chamber. When McCain returned — without Pence — he stopped in the well of the chamber, cast his “no” vote — sparking stunned gasps and some applause — and returned to his seat. McConnell and his leadership deputies stood watching, grim-faced and despondent.
That might be one of the most beautiful sentences in the English language: “McConnell and his leadership deputies stood watching, grim-faced and despondent.” The only thing better would be “McConnell wept with disbelief as the caucus of hatred he nurtured and fed for a decade turned on him with repeated stabs to the back.” I’ve read some pieces over the past month that Republican senators no longer give a sh-t about McConnell, his threats or his machinations. Now that their votes actually mean something, the GOP senators are suddenly gun-shy. Of course, this isn’t going to be the end. We’ll just have to get up next week and keep fighting.
Emperor Baby Fists reacted too:
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
“Let ObamaCare implode” = let millions die of treatable illnesses out of spite.
Please enjoy this too:
— Matt Collin (@mattdcollin) July 28, 2017
Photos courtesy of Getty.