Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday said it was time to “move on,” suggesting it was time to work with Democrats on healthcare after Senate Republicans suffered a stunning defeat in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“The American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “And as I said, we look forward to our colleagues on the other side suggesting what they have in mind.”
“It’s time to move on,” he added, before outlining a Friday Senate agenda that did not include healthcare.
Early Friday morning, the Senate voted against a “skinny” plan to repeal the law best known as Obamacare. It was a last-ditch effort after earlier votes on the Senate’s healthcare plans failed.
The vote failed, with 49 voting in favor and 51 voting against. Three Republican senators – McCain as well as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – voted no. All 48 Democrats joined them.
President Donald Trump weighed in shortly after the bill failed, tweeting: “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”
McConnell has struggled for weeks to build consensus within his conference around a healthcare plan. Republicans went through multiple versions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The “skinny” repeal was meant to become a vehicle for the Senate to be able to form a conference with the House of Representatives on healthcare legislation.
It failed when McCain came to the Senate floor and announced his opposition.