Once again, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is set to put a roadblock in the path of a GOP-led last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare.
In July, McCain helped defeat the “skinny repeal” proposal. Now, as one of just three Republican senators that were wavering on the new proposal, McCain posted a statement Friday announcing that he will definitely not support the Graham-Cassidy proposal.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain stated.
Senate leaders were hoping to bring the bill to the floor for a vote next week, with the expectation that it would be passed by the full Senate by the end of September, before a looming deadline.
If this last effort to repeal Obamacare does not pass, it could possibly doom any chance for Republicans to get rid of Obamacare during the Trump administration.
The Graham-Cassidy bill seeks to give control to the states, moving funds for Medicaid expansion, tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments into block grants to the states.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has also come out in firm opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill, claiming it doesn’t do enough to roll back Obamacare.
Two other Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are also both uncertain, with Collins announcing Friday that she’s leaning toward not supporting the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is delighted with McCain’s decision, saying, “John McCain shows the same courage in Congress that he showed when he was a naval aviator. I have assured Senator McCain that as soon as repeal is off the table, we Democrats are intent on resuming the bipartisan process.”
Below is McCain’s full statement, which he released via Twitter on Friday:
“As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform legislation ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate. Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it. The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I.”
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 22, 2017
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