The maverick Republican returned to the Senate this week just days after having surgery for brain cancer to thwart The Donald’s plans
The maverick Republican returned to the Senate this week just days after having surgery for brain cancer to thwart the controversial “skinny repeal”.
John McCain and thwarted Donald Trump’s bid to get Obamacare repealed in the US Senate
One of The Donald’s key campaign catchphrases was to “repeal and replace” his predecessors flagship healthcare reforms.
In a speech the day he returned, McCain had called for bipartisanship on major issues of national concern, and a return to the “regular order” of legislating by committee.
The Arizona senator joined two other members of the GOP, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to send the bill down by 51-49.
Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the Senate chambers shortly after midnight in case he was needed for a tie-breaker.
The reform would have repealed a mandate that most individuals get health insurance and would have suspended a requirement that large companies provide coverage to their employees.
The Arizona Republican, who has just returned from brain surgery, and two others from his party sided with the Democrats to hand them a 51-49 victory
It would have also suspended a tax on medical devices and denied funding to Planned Parenthood for a year.
On Twitter, McCain said the repeal bill “fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform I hope we can rely on humility, cooperation & dependence on each other to better serve the people who elected us.”
McCain and Trump clashed repeatedly during The Donald’s successful campaign for the White House.
In 2015, the billionaire said the Vietnam veteran – who spent five-and-a-half years in a notorious Hanoi prison – was “not a war hero”.
Trump said: “He was a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain has frequently shot back with jibes about The Donald’s administration being in “disarray” and even likening the President to a dictator over his comments about the press.
However earlier this week Trump seemed to seek to mend the divisions between them ahead of the crucial vote.
The move is a further blow for Trump (pictured earlier this month discussing the bill) who is yet to gain a real win on the Hill
He tweeted: “So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John.”
But after the vote failed he railed that McCain and the two other Republicans who went against party lines had “let the American people down”.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told the Senate floor right after the vote. “The American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward.”
Trump’s failure sent the dollar down against a basket of other currencies on Friday.
The setback leaves him without a major legislative win after more than six months in power, even though Republicans control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.
He had been expected to make rapid changes to healthcare, taxes and infrastructure spending.
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, then deal. Watch!” Trump tweeted after the vote.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368