In the early morning of Friday, July 28, a trio of Republican senators voted no on the Senate's so-called "skinny repeal" bill aimed at undoing the Affordable Care Act. As a result, for at least the time being, the entire Republican health care effort seems to have crashed on the rocks. The three senators who broke ranks with their party did so in a hugely high-profile moment, although one of them showed up very late to the party. Twitter is not happy that John McCain is getting all the glory while Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins were the real swing-vote heroes of the entire process.
Whatever you think of McCain, Murkowski, and Collins' politics generally, that they deserve some recognition for breaking ranks and defeating the repeal bill is undeniable ― after all, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could return to health care at some point down the road, he did not sound optimistic about it in his speech immediately following the vote. It's possible (though again, not yet assured) that their votes put the kibosh on a full seven years of anti-Obamacare campaigning by the Republican Party.
It's also true, however, that McCain showed up very late to that party, dramatically deciding to vote no in a fashion that guaranteed he'd absorb the lion's share of the attention and glory. Murkowski and Collins, on the other hand, staked out their positions for weeks, bolstered by a huge amount of protest and public outcry. And in the opinion of many observers on social media, this shouldn't be overlooked.
1. Every Work Meeting Ever
Giving McCain the credit for defeating this repeal when female Senators Murkowski & Collins were early NOs is EVERY WORK MEETING EVER.— Jenny Yang👲👲🏽🐉 (@jennyyangtv) July 28, 2017
2. Principled "No" Votes From The Jump
don't write a mccain-is-a-maverick story w/o acknowledging that murkowski/collins were the principled no votes from the jump. goodnight— Astead W. Herndon (@AsteadWH) July 28, 2017
3. Held The Line All The Way
Tomorrow the headlines will focus on McCain, but let's not forget it was Susan Collins and Senator Murkowski who held the line all the way. https://t.co/J2TWixYHC9— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 28, 2017
4. Press Will Focus On McCain
Press will focus on McCain, but don't forget - they tried to bribe Murkowski with truck of pork for Alaska and she still said no. Integrity.— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) July 28, 2017
5. Facing Twice The Hostility
Murkowski and Collins did the same job as McCain, facing twice the hostility for half the credit— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) July 28, 2017
6. Doing The Right Thing From The Beginning
I would be remiss if I didnt point out that Murkowski & Collins are the *true* heroes for doing the right thing FROM THE BEGINNING. ♀️💁💪(👯)— Lauren Flans (@LaurenFlans) July 28, 2017
7. Women Save The Day Again
Yes, McCain finally came through. But the real Mavericks are Murkowski and Collins. NO on MTP. NO on #SkinnyRepeal. Women save the day again— Bob Cunningham ❄ (@BCunningham215) July 28, 2017
8. McCain Joins Late
Better headline: Murkowski & Collins hold the line w/all Dems; McCain joins late https://t.co/HvT1yrMUhw— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) July 28, 2017
9. This Entire Time
Collins and Murkowski have had their head on straight this ENTIRE TIME. Can we please keep that front of mind?— Alexis Goldstein (@alexisgoldstein) July 28, 2017
10. Stood Consistent And Strong
Let's remember that Collins and Murkowski stood consistent and strong, even as men in their own party threatened to duel them— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) July 28, 2017
11. Doing The Right Thing All Along
John McCain is getting a lot of praise for his vote, but remember how Sens. Collins and Murkowski have been doing the right thing all along?— Melly in DC (@mellyindc) July 28, 2017
12. Showed Bravery From The Start
If this goes down, everyone will talk about McCain being maverick-y. But remember that Collins and Murkowski showed bravery from the start.— Lara Cohen 💅🏼 (@Larakate) July 28, 2017
13. They're Running Again
John McCain did the right thing. And that's great but Murkowski & Collins did the right & brave thing. They're running again. McCain isn't.— Aღanda (@GrnEyedMandy) July 28, 2017
14. At The End Of The Project
Murkowski and Collins are the heroes today. McCain is the guy who signed on at the end of the project, presented it and got all the credit.— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) July 28, 2017
15. Stalwart Women Who Refused To Budge
Yay Maverick McCain swooping in to save the day, but let's give due credit to the stalwart women who refused to budge. This belongs to them.— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) July 28, 2017
16. More Credit To Collins And Murkowski
Credit where it's due: McCain finally matched his deeds to his words.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 28, 2017
But more credit to Collins & Murkowski who led the way here.
17. At Least As Much Credit
Everyone praising McCain, but Murkowski and Collins deserve at least as much credit.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) July 28, 2017
18. Put A Sword Through This Monster
19. Nice Of Him To Join
McCain will be getting so much credit for a vote that shouldn't have happened to begin with, but nice of him to join Collins and Murkowski.— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) July 28, 2017
20. Let's Not Forget
Folks are giving McCain all the credit but let's not forget about Collins and Murkowski.— tristan walker (@tristanwalker) July 28, 2017
21. It Was Two Women
Appreciate Sen. McCain's late breaking conscience, but can't we just admit it was two women who showed early courage and humanity? #SaveACA— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) July 28, 2017
For the record, both Collins and Murkowski also voted against the initial motion to proceed earlier this week, while McCain cast a decisive vote in favor of it. Had the motion to proceed simply failed outright, then the GOP never would've come as tantalizingly close to passing the repeal bill as it did last night ― and McCain's dramatic, possibly career-defining moment never would have happened.
And yet, since he ultimately defected and joined with Murkowski, Collins, and the entire Democratic Senate membership in opposing the bill, that brief period of uncertainty (and huge anxiety for the ACA's supporters) could end up going unnoticed by history. Those who lived through the legislative drama firsthand, however, will likely remember that it was Collins and Murkowski who stood firm the whole way through.