Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said early Friday morning that Democrats were “relieved,” not celebratory, at the failure of Senate Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal Obamacare.
“It’s time to turn the page,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “I would say to my dear friend, the majority leader, we are not celebrating. We are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions, deal with nursing homes and opioids that Medicaid paid for.”
“We are relieved, not for ourselves but for the American people,” he said.
Schumer urged the Senate to return to “regular order” — a loose shorthand for following the Senate’s standard legislative procedure, and which the Republicans’ Obamacare repeal efforts have not followed — and said Democrats were prepared to work across the aisle on certain issues.
Schumer specifically referenced the speech delivered Tuesday by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urging as much before the senior Republican supported a motion to proceed with debate on the Obamacare repeal effort. Early Friday morning, McCain’s “no” vote brought the repeal effort to a dramatic end, for now.
“If we can take this moment, a solemn moment, and start working this body the way it had always worked until the last decade or so, with both sides to blame for the deterioration, we will do a better job for our country, a better job for this body, a better job for ourselves,” Schumer said.
Schumer emphasized that Democrats were eager to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, a mammoth military bill that usually receives strong bipartisan support.
“As I mentioned to the majority leader, there are some other things we can do rather quickly, including moving a whole lot of nominations,” he added. “So we can work together.”
“Every place in every corner of the country where we go, the number one thing we are asked — and I know this because I’ve talked to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle — is can’t you guys work together?” Schumer concluded. “Let’s give it a shot. Let’s give it a shot.”
Watch below via NBC News:
Sen. Chuck Schumer fights back tears while speaking about Sen. John McCain after the “skinny” repeal of Obamacare failed to pass pic.twitter.com/TLGUCW9m5V
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 28, 2017