John McCain held his hand out as if to say “hi,” and when he had the attention of all, put his thumb down. His vote killed the so called “skinny” Obamacare repeal.
The Washington Post reports that McCain called Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to tell him about his no vote before he went to the floor. As he was heading to the Senate chambers reporters asked him about his vote. McCain told them to “wait for the show.”
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The Post reported that before the vote McCain was received by ebullient Democrats, including Schumer, with whom he shared laughs, as well Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and others.
McCain gave Feinstein a hug:
The hug didn’t go unnoticed by The New York Times:
McCain is hugging Democrats. McConnell just walked off the floor.
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) July 28, 2017
Obamacare supporters camped outside the Capitol loved the show of affection:
— Emma Roller (@emmaroller) July 28, 2017
And this USA Today reporter thought it was weird:
Cornyn hugs McCain then Schumer and McCain hug, everything is weird
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) July 28, 2017
And Bill O’Reilly said McCain let his country down:
I've known Sen. McCain for decades & respect him. But on a bill that would've diminished the failure of Obamacare, he let his country down.
— Bill O'Reilly (@billoreilly) July 28, 2017
Chuck Woolery didn’t like it:
Democrats cheering as Obamacare is not repealed. Thanking Murkowski, McCain and Collins.
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) July 28, 2017
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) also voted no, but McCain’s vote was the last and deciding one. The final vote was 51-49. The Washington Post reported that there was an audible gasp in the chambers as McCain cast his vote.
McCain later issued a statement about his vote:
While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.
I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict party-line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past.
The so-called “skinny repeal” would have removed the individual mandate — forcing people to buy health insurance — and the medical device tax.