President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Friday morning to slam “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats” for failing to pass a stripped-down version of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The President said they “let the American people down.”
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
The Senate voted 49-51, with Arizona Sen. John McCain splitting from fellow Republicans to cast the deciding vote.
The vote on the so-called “Skinny Repeal” bill came just after 1:30 a.m. ET, following hours of efforts by GOP leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence, to convince Republicans like Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, to vote yea.
Neither budged, and in the end the effort concentrated on McCain, who on Tuesday helped make early Friday’s vote possible. He left the hospital where he is being treated for aggressive brain cancer to vote in favor of bringing various Republican health care bills to the floor for debate.
Throughout the night, broadcast live on C-SPAN2, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Pence could be seen speaking to McCain, often heatedly.
It was unclear what was said among the three, but at one point Pence left the Senate building outright, only to return half an hour later, just before voting began. Had McCain voted with the Republicans, creating a 50-50 tie, Pence would have cast the deciding vote.
There was speculation from observers that McCain’s final vote wasn’t clear even to his party colleagues, and given the reaction by Senate Democrats, that seems plausible. Democrats gasped, while McConnell looked inconsolably angry.