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'Skinny repeal' of Obamacare fails — these three Republican senators killed it

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was dealt another blow as the "skinny repeal" bill was narrowly defeated in a vote overnight Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Three Republican senators early Friday morning voted against the "skinny repeal" legislation meant as the last ditch effort to fulfill the promises made by Republicans to their constituents to repeal Obamacare. That was enough to bury the bill.

Trump tweeted soon after the bill's failure, saying, "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down."

"As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode," he added, "then deal. Watch!"

The three Republican votes against the bill came from Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Susan Collins (Maine).

McCain released a statement explaining his "no" vote: “From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people," the statement said.

"The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals," McCain's statement continued. "While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health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."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke on the Senate floor after the bill's failure.

"I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time," he said. "Now, I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. Probably pretty happy about all this.

"But the American people are hurting and they need relief," he said. "Our friends on the other side decided early on, they didn't to engage with us and in a serious way, in a serious way, to help those suffering under Obamacare."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted his disappointment, saying, "This week, I voted multiple times to repeal Obamacare, including offering my own clean repeal bill."

"The Senate fell one vote short tonight, which is disappointing," he added. "I intend to keep fighting for repeal."

Fox News' Martha MacCallum asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders what message the White House has to the three senators who indicated they would vote against the bill.

"The same [message] we've had since day one of coming into office," Sanders responded. "We need to repeal and replace Obamacare with health care that works for America. That's what we're pushing forward.

"We hope that the House and the Senate can get together on that," Sanders said. "This is a part of this process, the steps that they're taking tonight. We hope they get this bill passed and we can move forward from here."


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