The Republican-controlled Senate just took another stab at passing a massive overhaul of the American health care system, voting on a motion to proceed after failing to marshal enough votes for its massively unpopular replacement bill. And on Tuesday afternoon, moments after the move to begin debate, President Trump responded to the Senate health care vote.
In a statement, Trump said:
On top of all the practical concerns contained in the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of the Senate's original replacement bill ― the tens of millions of additional uninsured, the deep cuts to Medicaid, and the transfer of wealth to the rich by way of what's effectively a massive upper-class tax cut ― it was hugely unpopular, often polling at sub-20 percent levels of public support. The apparent collapse of Republican support for the replacement bill caused some of the Senate's hard-line conservatives, like Kentucky senator Rand Paul, to push for a vote on a clean repeal, despite having no firm replacement plan in place.
And when it was all said and done, the vote on the motion to proceed ended in a 50-50 tie, enabling Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. Embedded below is President Trump's response to the Senate's motion to proceed vote ― needless to say, this is a pivotal moment in his presidency and for the American public, although an actual repeal or replacement bill has yet to be passed.
Beyond the written statement, Trump also spoke briefly about the vote at the very start of his joint press conference with Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon, praising Arizona senator John McCain for making the trip to Washington, D.C. to vote despite suffering from brain cancer.
Pres. Trump on Senate health care vote: "I’m extremely happy...this is the beginning of the end for the disaster known as Obamacare.” pic.twitter.com/zy1CRnpJZq— ABC News (@ABC) July 25, 2017
.@SenJohnMcCain-Thank you for coming to D.C. for such a vital vote. Congrats to all Rep. We can now deliver grt healthcare to all Americans!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
It's unclear whether the GOP will be able to muster the 50 votes to pass a full repeal of Obamacare, which is likely the only workable option at this point. The Senate parliamentarian's recent review of the Senate's replacement bill concluded that it can't be passed under the budget reconciliation process as currently written, meaning it would require 60 votes to break a filibuster, rather than the mere 50 required under reconciliation.