WASHINGTON- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to advance the Republican-backed health care bill after Vice President Mike Pence weighed in to break a tie vote.
Fifty GOP senators voted to approve the motion to proceed to debate. Republicans Susan Collins (Me.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) joined the upper chamber’s 46 Democrats and two independent members in opposing the measure.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer, returned to the upper chamber Tuesday for series of crucial votes and was greeted with applause upon approaching the desk of the presiding officer to cast a vote in favor of the motion to proceed on the health care bill.
But McCain later said he would not support the legislation in its current form and explained his vote in favor of advancing the measure to allow the continued debate and amendment proposals.
McCain spoke at length about the need for bipartisan compromise.
“I hope we can again rely on humility. On our need to cooperate. On our dependence on each other. To learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us,” he said.
“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, on television and the internet; to hell with them,” McCain implored.
“They don’t want anything done for the public good; our incapacity is their livelihood,” he explained.
McCain said he is disappointed that fellow Senate Republicans chose to craft the legislation behind closed doors and compared it to the process Democrats used to push Obamacare through the upper chamber in 2010.
McCain said it would best for Senate Republican leaders to agree to hold hearings on the bill.
“If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order,” he insisted.
“Let the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under Chairman [Lamar] Alexander and Ranking Member [Patty] Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from sides,” McCain continued.
The Senate will proceed with consideration of the House-approved bill.
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News
Bryan is a freelance political journalist who has extensive experience covering Congress and Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.