Obamacare Repeal “Dead as a Door Nail;” Senate Won’t VoteSeptember 27, 2017 |
by The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Facing assured defeat, Republican leaders decided Tuesday not even to hold a vote on the GOP’s latest attempt to repeal the Obama health care law, surrendering on their last-gasp effort to deliver on the party’s banner campaign promise.
“The bill is dead as a door nail,” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., leaving a luncheon where GOP senators decided against holding a futile roll call.
The decision marked the latest stinging rejection on the issue for President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In July, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected three similar GOP measures, a failure that infuriated conservatives and prompted Trump to spend much of his summer tweeting insults at McConnell and other Republican senators for falling short.
McConnell, R-Ky., and other Republicans characterized the decision as a short-term setback. They needed to vote on the measure this week because procedural protections against a bill-killing Democratic filibuster expire Sunday, though they could revisit the issue in future months.
“We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system,” McConnell told reporters. “We aren’t going to be able to do it this week.
But he made it clear that it was time for Republicans to turn away from trying to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care. They’ve been promising to erase that law since its 2010 enactment but have never rallied behind a plan to replace it.
“Where we go from here is tax reform,” he said, citing the next big GOP goal.
Rejection became all but inevitable Monday after Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins announced she opposed the legislation. She joined Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas’ Ted Cruz who had already said they opposed the measure. Cruz aides said he was seeking changes that would let him vote yes.