‘Skinny repeal’ fails after McCain votes no


Senate Republicans thought they had it. Vice President Mike Pence was summoned to the Senate in case they needed him for a tie-breaking vote. But Pence ended up spending a half hour on the Senate floor trying to convince McCain to vote for the ‘skinny repeal’ bill. It didn’t work. McCain cast a dramatic third GOP vote to defeat the skinny repeal of Obamacare. It was a major defeat for Senate Majority McConnell. NOTE: The skinny repeal was an amendment. That means the original bill is still alive. And if (big if) McConnell can find legislation to get that elusive 50th vote, he can bring it to the floor and call for another vote.

In a dramatic early Friday morning vote, the Senate voted down the Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system, 49-51, with GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona’s dramatic “no” — to gasps in the chamber — providing the key vote to send the bill to defeat.

Lobbying from top GOP leaders, McCain’s colleague from Arizona Jeff Flake, Vice President Mike Penceand a swath of Republicans were not enough to sway McCain. Pence himself spent more than 20 minutes trying to get McCain to change his mind.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore