Sen. John McCain announced his opposition Friday to Republican colleagues’ last-ditch ObamaCare overhaul bill, dealing a major blow to GOP leaders’ push to pass repeal legislation under President Trump.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” the Arizona Republican senator said in a statement, using the bill’s nickname.
McCain – who helped kill the so-called “skinny repeal” back in July – once again was considered a key vote on the current bill, as one of just three wavering GOP senators.
His opposition could effectively doom the bill, which Senate leaders were hoping to bring to the floor next week ahead of a looming deadline. If Republicans cannot pass a bill in this window, it could also mark the end, for the foreseeable future, of the party’s broader efforts to roll back former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
McCain announced his decision in a lengthy written statement, warning the bill from Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was being rushed.
“I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case,” he said. “We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. … I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal.”
With his statement, McCain joins Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who before Friday was the only Republican who had come out firmly against the bill, arguing it doesn’t do enough to roll back ObamaCare.
Senate Republicans hold 52 seats, so McCain’s opposition does not outright kill the legislation.