Obamacare repeal lacks votes to pass in Senate -- live updates

Last Updated Jul 26, 2017 8:06 PM EDT

 

CBS News' Rebecca Shabad, Emily Tillett, John Nolen and Kathryn Watson have contributed to this developing story.

Senate Republicans have been delivered another blow after failing to secure a simple majority of 51 votes on the 2015 "clean repeal" of the Affordable Care Act with a two-year implementation delay. 

Moderate Republicans had voiced opposition to the strategy and were given an early indication of its failure with Republican Senators Heller, Capito, Collins and McCain voting no. 

Senators voted Tuesday in favor on a motion to proceed with debate on the Senate's health care plan to effectively repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday night, the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the health care law failed on a procedural vote.

Wednesday: Highlights from the votes:

  • The 2015 ACA repeal with two-year implementation delay does not pass as Senate Republicans fail to get a simple majority of 51 "yes" votes 
  • Sens. Heller, Capito, Collins, McCain, Portman, Alexander and Murkowski all deliver "no" votes to repeal plan, all 7 Senators voted "yes" back in 2015

Tuesday: Highlights from the votes:

  • After 50 "no" votes on the motion to proceed to debate (including all Democrats plus two Republicans) and 50 "yes" votes from Republicans, Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie
  • Sen. John McCain was welcomed back to Senate with standing ovation, votes "yes"
  • Protesters yell, "Kill the bill, don't kill us," disrupting start of vote
  • Senate GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, known as BCRA, fails in procedural vote, at about 9:30 p.m.

Live updates from Wednesday below:


Senate adjourns for the night

The Senate adjourned at 7:57 p.m. The Senate will resume business Thursday at 10 a.m., when it will eventually pick up the Health Care Act of 2017 again. In the afternoon, the Senate will take up the Daines amendment on single payer health care. 

CBO scores "skinny repeal" bill 

The Congressional Budget Office released a score for the "skinny repeal" bill late Wednesday, meaning there must be some text of the bill -- somewhere. Senate Republicans have yet to release it. In theory at least, "skinny repeal" would eliminate Obamacare's individual mandate and the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance for workers. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) claims the "skinny repeal" will mean 16 million fewer people with health insurance and 20 percent premium hikes. 

Schumer says Democrats won't offer more amendments on "sham" process

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) took the floor to say Democrats will offer no further amendments while Republicans vote on a confusing array of health care proposals. Schumer said the options Republicans are proposing so far would increase premiums, and cause people to lose insurance.

"We don't even know what bill to direct our amendments to," Schumer said, adding it was never a transparent process. 

"What kind of process is this?" Schumer continued. 

Schumer called the process so far a "sham," urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to be transparent with the bill he is proposing. 

Heller amendment fails to get waiver to move forward

The amendment expressing symbolic support for Medicaid proposed by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) required a waiver from the Budget Act to move forward, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) pointed out. But Heller received little approval from colleagues on either side of the aisle to get that waiver, allowing his amendment to fall flat in a 10-90 vote. 

Casey motion to commit fails

The proposal from Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) calling on senators to make sure people with disabilities don't lose access to affordable coverage they now receive through Medicaid or the Obamacare marketplace, failed, 48-51. The motion also would have sent the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee. 

Heller speaks on his Medicaid amendment 

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) stepped onto the Senate floor to speak about his soon-to-be-voted-upon amendment, which asks senators to commit to fully funding Medicaid. Nevada was the first state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and Heller backed down from supporting a Senate GOP health care bill earlier this summer because of lower funding it gave to vulnerable populations. The amendment commits senators more to the idea of Medicaid than to requiring the federal government to advance its funding. 

"My amendment reinforces the important role Medicaid has played in my home state," and in other states, Heller said. 

Two more votes scheduled for Wednesday

The Senate will take up two more measures at 6:10 p.m. They include a motion to commit from Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), and an amendment from Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada). Casey's motion to commit calls on senators to ensure that people with disabilities don't lose access to affordable coverage they now get through Medicaid or the Obamacare marketplace. Heller's amendment asks senators to commit to not cutting Medicaid funding, or prohibiting states from expanding their Medicaid populations. Neither is expected to pass. 

Unclear if further votes are possible in the Senate today

There could be more votes later, but there have been no formal announcements on when or what would be voted on.

Portman releases statement explaining why he opposed 2015 repeal bill: 

"I have said consistently that I support repealing and replacing Obamacare, and I voted to do so last night. I'm not giving up on doing both of those things. Because we now have 19 counties in Ohio without a single health insurer and 27 with just one, repealing this law without any replacement would leave tens of thousands of Ohioans stranded without health insurance and everyone with higher costs. We need to roll up our sleeves and come up with a better health care system. Just kicking the can down the road adds more uncertainty to the failed status quo, and according to all the experts I talk to, that means higher premiums, higher deductibles and more insurance companies leaving Ohio. We need a rescue plan for Ohio families who are suffering under the status quo, not one that makes the health care system worse for Ohio families."

"I will continue to fight for a better health care system that lowers the cost of coverage and provides access to quality care, while protecting the most vulnerable in our society. I will continue to work with my colleagues on positive solutions that make our health care system work better for all Ohioans."

Motion to recommit fails 

The Donnelly motion to send the bill back to committees fails in the Senate, 48-52. 

Senate now votes on motion to recommit 

The motion is largely considered to be the Democrats attempt at stalling the GOP's health care bill. If successful, the bill would go to the Finance Committee for three days and then come back, restarting the process all over again. 

The plan was put forth by Democratic Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly in order to send the health care bill back to committees. 

2015 Obamacare repeal fails in Senate

The Senate rejected the plan in a 45-55 vote. All Democrats voted against it, along with seven Republicans.

Heller, Capito, Collins and McCain "no" votes 

Top Republicans are already voting in the negative of supporting the 2015 clean repeal plan

Roll call begins as Senate moves to vote

The Senate's vote originally scheduled for 11:30 a.m. is now underway. The Senate is currently voting first on the adoption of the 2015 "clean repeal" of Obamacare plan with a two-year delay in implementation. Republicans need simple majority of 51 votes to pass but is already doomed to fail.  Moderate Republicans have voiced opposition to this strategy.

Johnson says health care "mess" is on Democrats 

Ron Johnson tells reporters before the 3:30 p.m. vote that the current debate over health care is due to "nothing we've done, it's what the Democrats did, it's Obamacare."

Johnson called the debate "a big mess, it's complex," conceding that GOP Senators are "obviously not on the same page" as they prepare to head into a new round of votes on amendments to the Senate's bill. 

The Wisconsin Republican also claimed he was in an interview with the incoming FBI Director when he received a knock on his door that he was late to votes on Tuesday. 

"I didn't set it up to be that dramatic," said Johnson, adding, "I probably should have gotten to votes sooner."

Portman on skinny repeal: "We'll see what's in it"

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio did not say for sure if he would support the skinny repeal measure either as a vehicle to another amendment or on its own, only responding to reporter's question with, "We'll see what's in it."

Ron Johnson wants to be "fully engaged" in reform plans

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin discussed his Tuesday vote delay and subsequent conversation with Majority Leader McConnell on the Senate floor, saying that he explained to McConnell he wants to be as "fully involved and a positive influence to make this as good a product as possible and to fix Obamacare as much as possible."

When pressed on the skinny repeal plan, Johnson said Republicans still don't know what the repeal would be, but are currently talking about what they can all agree on, adding "we got to have a more organized process. "

Graham won't vote on skinny repeal unless Graham-Cassidy "conferenceable"

Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters that he wants assurances from Republican leadership about getting his own amendment into conference negotiations before he can commit to vote for hte proposed skinny repeal plan. 

He added, "if it's just the skinny bill, all of us will vote against it, that will not be a success, we're not going to trick our constituents."

Graham said "the main thing to me is a vehicle to do something bigger, a vehicle to look at Graham-Cassidy and merge it with something else to truly replace Obamacare."

Blunt: Where do we end up from here?

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said  the "only real discussion going on right now is legitimately where we end up, that's what we have to be discussing where do we end up at end of this process and there are plenty of things every Republican agrees on, so that's the place to start."

Murkowski says she'll continue to "advance Alaska's interests"

Sen. Lisa Murkwoski said she's "comfortable with the decision" she made during Tuesday's vote, saying that she's "working to advance Alaska's interests" and will work to do the same on Wednesday.

When asked about Mr. Trump's twitter attacks directed her way over her "no" vote on the BCRA amendment, she responded, "I don't really follow Twitter that much." 

Collins won't commit to skinny repeal

Susan Collins said that she thought the so-called "skinny repeal" would be presented to Senators during Tuesday's lunch, but it never was. 

"Until I see what's in it, I'm not ruling it out because I don't know what it would be," Collins said in response to questions if she would support such a repeal plan. 

Corker on "skinny repeal": "No one knows what it says"

Sen. Bob Corker told reporters that he doesn't know what the skinny repeal plan looks like or even says, and that many of colleagues are in the dark on its content as well. 

He said however, "what you're really voting on is to keep discussions alive, not policy itself" in an effort to attempt to create a "bigger discussion about repeal" between the House and Senate. 

Corker added that it was "disappointing we find ourselves where we are today", saying the best solution for the Senate was to follow through on the 2015 repeal and with a two-year implementation delay in order to "force Democrats and Republicans to sit together to pass something that will stand the test of time."

Sullivan says he "needs to see" skinny repeal before voting

Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska did not say if he supports the proposed "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act, saying he needs to see it first before committing. 

Graham: Skinny plan is "not a replacement"

Speaker to reporters after the vote delay, Sen. Lindsey Graham said the proposed "skinny plan is not a replacement of obamacare"

"Would it be better than Obamacare, yeah, but that's not the goal," he added. "The goal is to replace Obamacare the skinny plan is not a replacement."

Graham said he would vote for a "skinny plan to get in conference to come up with a replacement."

Senate delays 11:30 a.m. vote to 3:30 p.m. ET

The senate has delayed this morning's vote to this afternoon. Debate will now resume until this afternoon's vote. 

The first round of voting is considered to be a procedural vote on a small slice of the 2015 bill known as the Enzi/Paul Amendment. The amendment, which includes the elimination of Obamacare coverage expansion, bars federal dollars from abortion services, but requires 60 votes in order to waive budget rules to put the amendment in play on the health care bill.

The Senate is also expected to vote on a "straight repeal" of Obamacare, mirroring the 2015 repeal bill. 

McConnell says the rest of the process "certainly won't be easy"

The Senate majority leader said that the Senate took a "critical step" Tuesday afternoon by opening debate, which he called an "important moment for our country." He said it signals a positive development for Americans who he said have been suffering under Obamacare's costs and diminishing options. 

"We'll work through an open amendment process," he said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. "If you've got one, bring it to the floor." 

McConnell said that the Senate considered a comprehensive repeal and replace plan Tuesday night, which failed because it was subject to a 60-vote threshold. 

"We'll consider many different proposals through this process from senators on both sides of the aisle," he said. "This certainly won't be easy -- hardly anything in this process has been." 

2015 Obamacare repeal bill up for vote at 11:30 a.m. ET

The Senate will first vote at 11:30 a.m. ET on a measure resembling a 2015 Senate-passed bill that would repeal Obamacare, but delay it for two years so that they can come up with a replacement plan. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is the only sitting Senate Republican among the two defections on that bill two years ago. The other was former Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois. 

At 3:30 p.m., the Senate will continue voting on a motion to recommit from Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana.