Donald Trump’s administration suffered a strong blow today when the Senate rejected the “skinny” repeal of Barack Obama’s healthcare law. 51 senators voted against the repeal, while 49 voted in favour.
The number of Democrat senators is 48 right now, so even with a negative vote they weren’t enough in numbers to succeed. Three more votes were needed. Two Republican senators had already expressed their disagreement for the repeal, saying that it wasn’t prepared properly. The Republican leaders tried to convince them that voting the bill would be the right thing to do.
The senators weren’t convinced. On the contrary, another surprise was in line for Donald Trump’s administration. Senator John McCain, who has already served six terms and had been a Republican presidential candidate back in 2008, joined the rebel group. McCain is facing severe health problems, having been diagnosed with brain cancer. McCain has been recently operated, but decided to come to the Senate in order to express his opinion on the bill.
Mike Pence, the US vice president and a close friend to the president Trump, talked with the old senator for more than twenty minutes upon his arrival to the Senate. Pence didn’t manage to succeed in his target. Senator McCain, who is considered a war hero in the US and has been a victim of Trump’s criticism about it, voted against the repeal in an act that seemed to rally support from all political fronts behind him.
Some Republican senators said that McCain didn’t vote in this manner to take revenge on anyone, but his action showed his real love for America. Others said that results like that are showing that democracy works in the US and should be anticipated in a democratic country. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s majority leader preferred to show his disagreement with the result. “This is clearly a disappointing moment. A disappointment indeed. I think the American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward,” said McConnell.
Donald Trump seemed to be angry with the result. He tweeted that the best thing to do is to let Obamacare implode, and then prepare a new deal. Trump aimed to finance the tax reform with the money that the administration would save from Obamacare’s costs. It seems though that even the Republicans do not agree with that prospect.