Senate Republicans successfully advanced their health care reform bill as they narrowly passed a crucial motion to put the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on the Senate floor for debate with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, according to the New York Times.
The vote came as President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dared members of the GOP in the Senate to reject their seven-year effort to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature legislation.
The vote means floor debate on the GOP measure to overhaul the Affordable Care Act even though there may not be enough votes to pass it and it is not clear what a final version of the legislation will look like.
“Now we move forward toward truly great health care for the American people,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden during a news conference.
In a dramatic moment, Arizona Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate floor with applause from fellow senators, where he cast the key Republican vote after two GOP senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, joined the Democrats to oppose the motion.
With the Senate opening up debate, the next few days will expect to see debate time and votes on several amendments.