A US Senate
led by Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans dealt the president a harsh blow on Friday, failing to move ahead with a major campaign promise to dismantle Obamacare
as they fell one vote short of passing health care legislation.
senators — John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — joined Senate
Democrats in the dramatic early-morning 51-49 vote rejecting the Bill. The outcome may spell doom for the party’s seven-year quest to gut a 2010 law that was Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unsuccessful in securing passage of even a stripped-down so-called skinny Bill that would have repealed a few key parts of Obamacare.
Broader legislation was defeated earlier in the week.
“It’s time to move on,” McConnell, whose reputation as a master strategist was in tatters, said on the Senate
floor after the vote that unfolded at roughly 1:30 am.
“This is clearly a disappointing moment,” McConnell added. “The American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward.”
The Senate’s action also means that the Affordable Care Act, which extended health insurance to 20 million people and drove the percentage of uninsured people to historic lows, remains in place and must be administered by an administration hostile to it. Republicans have long denounced Obamacare
as an intrusion by government on people’s healthcare
The failure called into question the Republican
Party’s basic ability to govern even as it controls the White House, Senate
and House of Representatives. Trump has not had a major legislative victory after more than six months in office. He had vowed to get major health care legislation, tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending through Congress in short order.
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare
implode, then deal. Watch!” Trump wrote on Twitter after the vote.