The Senate rejected a proposal by Republican legislators Wednesday to repeal ObamaCare, signifying yet another failure by the Republican Party in its long battle to dismantle the landmark legislation that was championed by President Barack Obama.
The measure was opposed by seven Republicans, with the vote winding up at 45-55, CNN reports.
The proposal, an amendment introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY.), would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and given lawmakers two years to draw up a replacement.
All Democrats and Independents voted no on the measure, and they were joined by GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rob Portman (Ohio), The Hill reports.
A vote on the amendment was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was delayed while senators considered a provision that was tied to abortion.
This was the second healthcare plan to be shot down after the Senate voted down a separate repeal-and-replace amendment just hours before that, on Tuesday night.
Three GOP Senators had made it clear they weren’t going to support the repeal-only measure, and Alexander, chair of the Senate’s health committee, said he “didn’t think there were 40 votes to repeal,” without a replacement in the works.
Nevertheless, conservatives applied plenty of pressure to the GOP to support the proposal, and for evidence they noted that Senate Republicans passed a repeal bill in 2015, even though they knew President Obama would veto it.
Paul, who must have known this measure didn’t stand much of a chance, still appeared hopeful:
“Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare, and as we move forward in this process, I urge them to join me in supporting a clean repeal of as much of this disastrous law as possible.”
And Freedom Works, a conservative organization, shifted into high gear, firing off a “key vote” notice just hours before Wednesday’s vote, contending that President Trump would sign a repeal-only bill.
But the company fired off a letter to its members, and whomever wrote this letter sounds a bit…delusional:
“For seven years, Republicans successfully campaigned on ObamaCare repeal. …Grassroots conservative activists are not going to accept excuses if Republicans fail to pass a bill that they have passed once before.”
Time.com notes that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was enacted in 2009, and since then, Republicans have tried more than 50 times to repeal it, and if you include efforts to undo or update to change it, that number rises to 54. Indeed, Republicans had one brief moment of glory, but fortunately Obama’s veto undid that. So no, the Republicans have NOT been successful.
Sen. John Cornyn, (R-Texas), the second-ranking Senate Republican said Wednesday that the GOP is trying to “get to conference quick” but ultimately decisions hadn’t yet been made on what the Senate could pass, or what could be included in a “skinny repeal.”
Democrats, however, maintain that this is a bad idea, saying it’s nothing more than a bald-faced attempt by Republicans to fully repeal ObamaCare.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) noted that a skinny repeal is nothing more than a trap:
“Make no mistake about it, skinny repeal is equal to full repeal. It’s a Trojan Horse designed to get the House and Senate into conference where the hard-right flank of the Republican Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, will demand full repeal or something very close to it.”
Imagine that. All this fighting over repealing and replacing something President Obama set in place to ensure that millions of people will have decent healthcare. And the Republicans are clawing tooth and nail to destroy this.
Shame on them.
Featured image courtesy of Senator Rand Paul/YouTube