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Repeal bill fails in dramatic late-night vote

July 28, 2017

Via CNN

The Senate has dealt a devastating setback to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, defeating a GOP “skinny repeal” bill early Friday morning.

Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins joined with Democrats to oppose the measure, a major blow to President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional agenda.

McCain, who had voted for a motion to proceed to the bill Tuesday after returning to Washington following surgery for a brain tumor, held out all day, including in a news conference where he criticized the partisan process that led to the after-midnight vote.

His surprise decision came after a prolonged drama on the Senate floor. Multiple Republican colleagues, including Vice President Mike Pence, engaged in animated conversations with the Arizona senator who has long cherished his reputation as a maverick.

At one point before the final vote, Trump called Pence, who handed the phone to McCain, a source briefed on the call told CNN. The call, just off the Senate floor, was brief and ultimately unsuccessful.