GOP lacks votes for Obamacare repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest attempt to make good on the GOP’s seven-year campaign promise to gut the Affordable Care Act was once again plunged into chaos Tuesday when three Republican senators said they would oppose a procedural vote to advance McConnell’s plan to roll back significant parts of Obamacare without a replacement plan in place.

For the second time in a span of less than 24 hours, McConnell acknowledged that things were not going as he had hoped.

Despite not having the votes for passage, McConnell announced Tuesday night on the Senate floor that Republicans would hold a procedural vote on the health care bill “early next week.”

Asked by CNN what would need to change given that leadership currently lacks the 50 “yes” senators to pass even a procedural vote, Senate GOP whip John Cornyn responded: “A little passage of time.”

How the Republican health care bill fell apart
How the Republican health care bill fell apart

The opposition that trickled out into the public Tuesday reinforced a painful reality for many Republicans to swallow — that after years of railing against Obamacare, there is now not enough will within the party to pursue wholesale repeal of the law.

In short order, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine said they oppose McConnell’s proposal.

“My position on this issue is driven by its impact on West Virginians,” Capito said in a statement. “With that in mind, I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians.”

She later tweeted she would not vote to move forward on a motion to proceed to repeal Obamacare without a replacement.

Murkowski called for Republicans to develop a new proposal in committees, a step that has thus far been skipped by GOP leadership in the chamber.

“I think what has to happen is the Republicans have to admit that some of the things in the ACA, we actually liked, and the Democrats…