WASHINGTON — The senator who was defeated by President Obama in his 2008 quest for the White House stepped in to cast the deciding vote to kill Senate Republicans’ last-gasp effort to repeal Obama’s signature healthcare legislation before the summer recess.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were expected to vote against the “skinny repeal” — a bare-bones repeal of only the individual and employer mandates as well as the medical device tax; the latter has drawn bipartisan criticism over the years.
Vice President Mike Pence was at the Capitol, ready to cast a tie-breaking vote as he had to do when Collins and Murkowski were the lone GOP dissenters on the motion to proceed to the healthcare debate. But the final tally was 49-51.
Audible gasps arose from the Dem side of the chamber when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) walked forward and cast a “no” vote.