After delivering the decisive vote that effectively killed the skinny Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate early Friday morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) asked his colleagues on “both sides of the aisle” to work together and “stop the political gamesmanship.”
“The vote last night presents the Senate with an opportunity to start fresh. It is now time to return to regular order with input from all of our members – Republicans and Democrats – and bring a bill to the floor of the Senate for amendment and debate,” he said in a written statement later on Friday, adding he has “great faith” in the two chairs of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will work together to come up with a bipartisan bill.
Here’s the full statement, released Friday around noon:
“The United States Senate has a rich history of comity, trust and bipartisanship. Sadly, those essential qualities have been absent in recent years and we have seen the world’s greatest deliberative body succumb to partisan rancor and gridlock. Our inability to address the pressing health care needs of the American people with meaningful and lasting reform is inexcusable.
The vote last night presents the Senate with an opportunity to start fresh. It is now time to return to regular order with input from all of our members – Republicans and Democrats – and bring a bill to the floor of the Senate for amendment and debate. I have great faith in the ability of the Senator from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, the Senator from Washington, Patty Murray, and others to work together in a bipartisan fashion to craft a bill that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to trust each other, stop the political gamesmanship, and put the health care needs of the American people first. We can do this.”
The bill failed early Friday when McCain joined early opposers Lisa Murkowski (R- AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to team up 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.
McCain said 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, according to an early morning statement.