McCain Scolds The Senate & Defeats Trump Care

Many had hoped that John McCain was returning to the Senate to vote nay on the motion to proceed to debate regarding the embattled health-care bill. That he would in his last days, take the opportunity to stick it to Trump. McCain however had, through his aides, made it clear that he intended on giving a floor speech upon his return. In order to do this he needed to vote yea and ensure debate. Only then would his speech be heard by the entire Senate.

Despite what social, and some in the news media are saying, here is the calculation. McCain knows the bill in its current form is dead on arrival once it comes for a vote. The Republicans need every vote, and they were sufficiently short last time, and McCain intends on voting No (unless there are major changes). He also knows that Rand Paul and his cadre of senators will refuse to vote for anything short of repeal (possibly light repeal) and McCain also knows that many moderate Republicans whose seats are not secure cannot vote for anything close to repeal, or even the current replacement because it would leave too many uninsured.

On the floor McCain gave a fiery speech, calling for across the aisle cooperation between Democrats and Republicans to craft a health-care bill. He reminded the Senate that they don’t work for the President, that they’re not his underlings, but his equals. He railed against what he called the loud mouths on Radio, Television, and the Internet, imploring his fellow Senators to ignore them.

See the full speech below:

What we don’t know is how serious McCain is about not voting for the current bill, will he stick to his principals and vote nay if there isn’t sufficient buy-in from Democrats, or will he take any changes in the bill as an out so he can vote for it and say that it had ‘improved enough’. We also don’t know if McCain’s speech had any effect on the other Senators. It likely didn’t, especially on the more experienced crowd, but to the more junior members and those with less secure seats, maybe-perhaps it reminded them of an America that they once believed in, one that now only appears to exist in history books.

All we can do now is call our Senators offices, pressure them to listen to reason instead of campaign contributions, and hope that between McCain’s speech, McConnell’s poor leadership, and Trump’s ignorance, that this will all fall apart.

Update: Repeal Defeated

McCain’s gambit was successful. His vote in favor of proceeding towards debate forced the Republican’s to consider ill conceived and ultimately unworkable legislation. This put the Republicans in a very weak position, which is what McCain wanted. True to his promise McCain voted no, thumbs down,in a stunning and historic moment on the Senate floor, see below:

McCain votes no on ‘Skinny Repeal’, defeating Trump Care

His vote was the last and deciding vote that killed the bill. Due to the way the Senate rules are set up only one reconciliation bill per topic may be considered per year. Meaning that Trump’s healthcare initiative is dead. The Democrats and Republicans are now working on joint legislation to solve the funding issue with the Affordable Care Act, with no repeal or replace in sight.

Update: 9/27/17

A second reconciliation bill was attempted using the remaining time left from the last bill written about above. This one also failed, in part thanks to McCain against calling for regular order and announcing that he would not vote for the measure.