Republicans have accepted defeat and announced they will not be voting on the latest attempt at repealing Obamacare. The news comes after Maine Republican Susan Collins’ statement that she will oppose the bill, ensuring that the bill would fail to reach the 50 votes required to pass. This deals a major blow to the GOP and Trump’s presidency.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell informed fellow Republicans at a Capitol Hill lunch today that the bill would not go to the floor for a vote, according to CNN. Shortly after, McConnell issued a statement to the press on failure of the the Graham-Cassidy bill.
“We are not going to be able to do that this week, but it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that,” McConnell said as he assured the American people that a healthcare change will come. “We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system.”
Looking towards the future, McConnell said the GOP will be focusing on overhauling the tax code, an action that hasn’t been done since 1986, according to the New York Times.
Republican senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Rand Paul all opposed the bill. After it was clear that the three senators would not be swayed, the bill was effectively dead.
Vice President Mike Pence told Republican Senators not give up on revising the bill even after the Sept 30 deadline. Senator Jim Inhofe agreed, saying, “He’s conveyed it outside of that meeting [too]. The votes aren’t there so let’s keep massaging.”
Per reports from Politico, the fast-track procedural tool that would have been used to pass the bill will expire after Sept. 30, ensuring a newly-revised bill would now need 60 votes to pass, further cementing the fact that Republicans will not be able to pass any bill as long as Democrats remain devoted to protecting Obamacare.
Bill Cassidy, one of the two Senators who sponsored the bill, indicated that the short turnaround timeframe played a large part in the bill’s failure. “Time was the enemy,” he said. “Some people didn’t like the process so we needed hearings to have them feel better about the process and we didn’t have time for those hearings.”
It’s unclear how Republicans plan to proceed on repealing Obamacare, but as of now, the bill is dead in the water.