McCain blocks bid to re­peal ‘Oba­macare’

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - WORLD NEWS -

voted in favour of open­ing the de­bate on the leg­is­la­tion ear­lier this week.

But in a night of high drama on Capi­tol Hill, Mr McCain dealt what looks like a death blow to the Repub­li­can party’s seven years of prom­ises to get rid of Oba­macare, de­fy­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Repub­li­can lead­ers in the se­nate.

Mr Trump said in a morn­ing tweet that if the se­nate wants to pass leg­is­la­tion, it “must im­me­di­ately go to a 51-vote ma­jor­ity”, although his cal­cu­la­tions ap­peared to be at fault.

The Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity failed to reach 51 votes in the bid to over­haul US health care laws - in­stead, they got 49 votes.

Typ­i­cally, leg­is­la­tion in the se­nate re­quires 60 votes or more to avoid a fil­i­buster. Ma­jor­ity leader Mitch McCon­nell has re­peat­edly re­jected Mr Trump’s pro­posal to lower the thresh­old.

The pres­i­dent com­plained that three Repub­li­can sen­a­tors voted with Democrats to block the way - Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Su­san Collins of Maine, and, pro­vid­ing the de­ci­sive vote, Mr McCain.

Mr Trump ad­vo­cated a lower thresh­old, adding that “so many great fu­ture bills and bud­gets” ought to be able to pass with only 51 votes. Mean­while, US House speaker Paul Ryan has said he is “dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated” by the fail­ure of the leg­is­la­tion.

How­ever, Mr Ryan said “we should not give up” af­ter promis­ing for years to re­peal and re­place Oba­macare. At the same time, the speaker said that over­haul­ing the tax code is at the top of the House’s list of pri­or­i­ties.

Mr Ryan is pledg­ing to pur­sue “his­toric tax re­form” in the au­tumn. He is­sued his state­ment as the House pre­pares to leave Wash­ing­ton for its an­nual Au­gust re­cess.

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