McConnell: O’Care Repeal Failure Is A ‘Clearly Disappointing Moment’ For GOP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from his office en route to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 26. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

A seemingly stunned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasn’t shy about the “clearly disappointing moment” his party had just endured and openly blamed Democrats for not engaging “in a serious way” to help the American people, after Republicans failed to pass a skinny Obamacare repeal bill early Friday morning.

“I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating, probably pretty happy about this,” McConnell said from the Senate floor after the plan was blocked by three Republicans. He said he felt “regret” and “disappointment” that his party couldn’t drum up a simple majority to pass the minimalistic repeal bill.

“This is a disappointment, a disappointment indeed,” he said. “Our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under Obamacare, we thought they deserved better, which is why I, and many of my colleagues, did as we promised, voted to repeal this failed law.”

The skinny repeal ultimately failed early Friday when Republican Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R- AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined with the Democrats to block the bill. McCain, who was just diagnosed with brain cancer, flew back to the Senate earlier this week to vote in favor of a motion to proceed.

He finally decided to vote against the measure because it offered no replacement “to actually reform our health care system” and he didn’t want to make the same mistake as Democrats did with Obamacare by ramming a bill through Congress without bipartisan support, he said in a statement.

McConnell thanked “everybody in the conference” who spent “endless” hours trying to come to a consensus and his “friends” in the House. He also praised the President and the Vice President for their engagement in the process.

McConnell spent most of his time at the podium blaming Democrats for the bill’s failure and said he is interested to see what they suggest.

“I suspect they are pretty satisfied tonight. I regret to say they succeeded in that effort. Now, I think it’s appropriate to ask, what are their ideas?,” he said. “It’s time for our friends on the other side to tell us what they have in mind and we’ll see how the American people feel about their ideas.”

Watch McConnell’s remarks below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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