WASHINGTON – Obamacare remains the law of the land after an unexpected failed, late night vote on what's being referred to as a "skinny repeal" of the law in the Senate.
After seven years campaigning on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senate Republicans came up just one vote short of approving a measure to finally dismantle parts of the law.
"This is clearly a disappointing moment," remarked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The measure was called "skinny repeal" because it only got rid of key parts of Obamacare, not all of it. But it didn't offer a replacement plan.
McCain Casts Key Vote
Arizona Sen. John McCain, along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, voted against their party.
McCain said he didn't vote for the measure because it had no replacement for Obamacare.
"Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare with a meaningful reform," he tweeted.
Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform https://t.co/tZISIvccOO
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 28, 2017
Many Republican senators were not huge fans of the failed bill, but wanted to pass it and use it as a starting point to work on the Obamacare repeal that could be amended and changed in conference with the House.
Following the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., admitted on the floor Obamacare isn't perfect, and in an emotional moment, asked his GOP colleagues to do as McCain said earlier this week, and return back to regular order and work with another.
"All of us were so inspired by the speech and the life of the senator from Arizona," Schumer said. "And he asked us to go back to regular order, to bring back the Senate that some of us who have been here a while remember."
"Maybe this can be a moment when we start doing that," he added.
Trump: Let Obamacare Implode!
The bill's defeat is a crushing blow to both Senate leadership and President Donald Trump. Taking to Twitter, the president said the GOP should just let Obamacare implode.
"3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down," the president tweeted. "As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!"
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
The White House is disappointed Senate Republicans can't seem to unite to help them achieve Trump's campaign promise.
The administration wanted a policy victory as it's dealing with public infighting between chief of staff Reince Preibus and new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.
Scaramucci blasted Preibus in a profanity-laced interview in the New Yorker, calling him a "paranoid schizophrenic."
And in a CNN interview Thursday, Sacaramucci said, "The fish stinks from the head down," he said. "I can tell you two fish that don't stink, and that's me and the president."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed the situation, saying, "This is just healthy competition."
"This is a White House that has a lot of different perspectives because the president hires the very best people," she told reporters. "They're not always going to agree. There are going to be a lot of different ideas. Unlike previous administrations, this isn't group think."
As for McCain, once the skinny bill failed, he called for the bill to go back to committee, hold hearings, and getting input from both Republicans and Democrats.
But the future of any more measures on Obamacare is unclear.