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

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. 

Live updates from Tuesday below:


Senate GOP's Obamacare repeal and replace plan fails on procedural vote

A vote to advance Senate Republican leadership's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare failed late Tuesday -- the latest setback in their party's effort to dismantle the 2010 health care law.

After 9:30 p.m. ET, the Senate rejected a motion 43-57 to waive the Budget Act and advance the proposal, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). This contained a proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell less expensive bare-bones plans alongside plans that comply with stricter Obamacare standards. And a proposal was added from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would "assist low-income people moving off of Medicaid and onto private insurance plans," according to an aide to McConnell.

Because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) didn't score the Cruz and Portman proposals, the entire proposal was subject to a 60-vote point of order instead of 51 votes.

Senate expected to vote around 8 p.m. ET

The Senate is expected to vote at 8 p.m. ET, according to Senate Periodical Press Gallery on the amended BCRA, the repeal and replace plan. This will contain a proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and a proposal from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio that would "assist low-income people moving off of Medicaid and onto private insurance plans," according to an aide to McConnell.

Because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) didn't score the Cruz and Portman proposals, GOP leaders expect the amended BCRA to be subject to a 60-vote point of order instead of 51 votes.

McConnell takes to floor and proposes BCRA amendment

The Senate clerk reads the details of the amended BCRA version to repeal and replace before the floor. This is the second amendment proposed by McConnell and will be the first amendment to be voted upon. Senate Democrats have asked for the bill to be read in its entirety.

Clerks have already read through the BCRA's provisions that detail impacts on state budgets, enrollee costs per state and pre-exisiting conditions.

Process for major amendment votes, timing

It's still unclear whether there will be further votes in the Senate on Tuesday. Around 5:45 p.m. ET, McConnell plans to offer a second degree amendment, which is the amended BCRA, the repeal and replace plan. This will contain a proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and a proposal from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio that would "assist low-income people moving off of Medicaid and onto private insurance plans," according to an aide to McConnell.

Because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) didn't score the Cruz and Portman proposals, GOP leaders expect the amended BCRA to be subject to a 60-vote point of order instead of 51 votes.

The Senate will first vote on the second degree (BCRA) amendment and then vote on the 2015 repeal bill offered earlier Tuesday.

Schumer says Republicans are "in trouble" with health care bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told reporters, "It's clear they're in trouble. John McCain gave the most amazing, moving speech basically against the bill and certainly against the process that Leader McConnell used."

"Leader McConnell has a long way to go before he can get this done," he said.

Schumer said that anyone who votes to for the final product is voting to "kick off millions off health care" and to make it harder to get coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, provide tax cuts to the wealthy and cut from Medicaid.

Clerk reads first amendment to health care plan

The Senate now hears in detail the first amendment being offered by Majority Leader McConnell.

Senate votes yes on health care debate

McConnell says the vote was responsible

CBS News' Nancy Cordes asked McConnell if the vote was responsible.

"Of course, it is wide open to amendments," McConnell said, adding that the Senate went through a similar process seven years ago.

"We're going to sort this out in a thoroughly open amendment process," he said.

McConnell says the Senate will "hopefully finish voting by the end of the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, spoke to reporters after the initial procedural vote and said he has offered one amendment already to the bill.

"This is an open amendment process...this is just the beginning," he said.

McConnell said the Senate will finish "hopefully" by the end of the week with a measure that could go to the House or go to conference with House Republicans.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, called on his colleagues to help "improve the bill."

"This is just the beginning and not the end.

Debate begins on health care legislation

Senators now begin debate over their health care legislation, as amendments to the Senate's plan are expected to be raised.

20 hours of debate are now allowed over the next three days.

McCain to Senators: "Let's trust each other"

With visible wounds from his eye surgery and recuperating from his brain cancer diagnosis, McCain tells Senators now is the time to "trust one another" and "rely on humility."

He urged Senators to "stop listening to the bombasting loud mouths on radio and television, to hell with them!"

McCain added that he voted to allow the debate to continue on health care, but "will not vote for this bill as it today, its a shell of a bill right now we all know that."

He noted that there is a need to work across the aisle to pass "something full of compromises."

McCain also hit on Mr. Trump during his speech to lawmakers, saying "whether we are not of the same party, we are not the president's subordinates, we are his equal."

The Republican thanked his colleagues for their concerns and prayers saying "they mean a lot to me."

"I appreciate every word, even if much of it isn't deserved," he adds. McCain said that he will stay in Washington for a few more days before returning home to Arizona for recovery, but intends on joining his colleagues sometime in the future.

Motion to proceed passes

With 51 "yes" votes, including a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence,  and 50 no votes, the motion to proceed to debate on the Senate's health care plan passes.

Now, the reconciliation process allows senators to offer unlimited amendments, before coming to a final vote on the bill.

Sen John McCain arrives to sound of applause in Senate

The Senate floor rises and applauds as McCain enters the floor amid his brain cancer diagnosis.  With a thumbs up, he votes in the affirmative.

Johnson in discussion with McConnell before vote

Sen. Ron Johnson is seen discussing with the Majority Leader on the floor before he takes his vote.

McCain, Johnson votes remain

Republican Sens. John McCain and Ron Johnson are all that remains to give Republicans the edge to the motion to proceed. McCain's flight from Arizona to D.C. has reportedly landed and he is en route to the Capitol for his vote.

Collins and Murkowski vote "no" on motion to proceed

Republican Sens. Collins and Murkowski have voted no on the motion to proceed to debate. If Republicans lose one more vote the motion to proceed will fail.

Vote on debate to consider health care begins

Senators begin to vote on the motion to proceed to debate over the Senate's health care plan.

"Kill the bill, don't kill us" chants ring out in Senate

Chants to kill the Senate's bill as the floor prepares to come to a vote from protesters on Capitol Hill. "Shame! Shame! Shame," the protesters shouted before the Senate came back to order.

Capito to vote "yes" on motion to proceed

A previous holdout of hte Senate's health care plan, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virinia said in a statement, she will in fact vote to proceed to debate on the Senate's bill.

"As this process advances on the Senate floor, I will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of West Virginians. I remain committed to forming our health care system while also addressing the concerns I have voiced for months," Capito said in a statement.

McConnell says "we have duty to act" on health care

Majority Leader McConnell called Tuesday's vote a "critical first step" in the process to reform health care.

He added, "With a surprise election comes a great opportunity to do things we never thought possible."

Schumer: Americans have not been treated to "high-minded debate"

Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor lambasted the Republicans, saying they "bypassed the committee process entirely" with no opportunity for the Democrats to "amend the bill or even read it."

He added that the Senate's bill is a "vague plan to pass anything to get the bill to a House and Senate conference on health care."

"Plain and simple: it's a rouse," Schumer said.

Schumer pleaded with Republicans to "turn back before its too late."

"We can go through regular order, we want to work with you, we know the ACA is not perfect, but we also know what you proposed is much worse," added Schumer.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller a "yes" on motion to proceed

Heller, in a statement released before the Senate comes to a vote, said, "Obamacare isn't the answer, but doing nothing to try to solve the problems it has created isn't the answer either."

He added, "That is why I will vote to move forward and give us a chance to address the unworkable aspects of the law that have left many Nevadans - particularly those living in rural areas - with dwindling or no choices."

Heller conceded however, "If the final product isn't improved for the state of Nevada, then I will not vote for it; if it is improved, I will support it."

Paul discusses health care voting process

Post-GOP lunches, Sen. Rand Paul said while he expects 50 votes to proceed on the motion to continue the health care vote, he added the process will then include a vote on the 2015 clean repeal plan to be considered as the first amendment, and the Senate leadership's BCRA plan as the second amendment.

Paul said many members are predicting the Senate will then vote on a "skinny repeal that involves some form of consensus."

"We can find consensus if we narrow the focus of the bill," he added."

Rand Paul supports combination of 2015, BCRA plans

Speaking to reporters, Paul said that a possible option could involve parts of the 2015 ACA repeal and parts of the BCRA Senate plan.

He added, "The best way to find out is to vote one at a time."

Mike Rounds supports "repeal with delayed implementation"

South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds said that he would support a "stripped down plan" that would include a delayed implementation date for two years should the motion to proceed get to a next step.

"We can't simply walk away from trying to repair this product because right now, it's not sustainable," added Rounds.

Collins says she's a "no" on 2015 plan

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Collins said of the Senate's vote, "This seems to be a moving target and I don't know what we're proceeding to vote on."

Murkowski not yet confirmed on "motion to proceed"

A press secretary for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said, "The Senator hasn't said which way she will vote on today's MTP as she's pushing for clarity on what we are proceeding to."

Murkowski has been a major holdout on the Senate's plan who has said she will not support voting on repeal of there is not a workable replacement in place that gives her constituents choice, affordability and quality in their insurance.

Senator Ron Johnson R-Wisconsin and Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona joined in Murkwoski's apprehension before the vote, telling CBS News they are still undecided as well.

Senate in recess until 2:15 pm

The Senate has gone into recess to attend weekly conferences and lunches before taking up the health care vote.

McConnell urges colleagues to vote on "critical first step" to end "failed left-wing experiment"

"In just a couple of hours, senators will have an important decision to make," he said in remarks on the Senate floor.

He said that they have an opportunity to vote on a critical first step to move beyond what he called Obamacare's failure. He said many Republicans have made commitments to repeal the "failed left-wing experiment," he said. McConnell added that they now have a "real opportunity to begin debate" and send "smarter health care solutions" to the president's desk.

John McCain to return to the Senate in the afternoon, deliver remarks

The Arizona Republican will return to the Senate Tuesday afternoon following his cancer diagnosis and will deliver remarks on the Senate floor and hold a press conference afterward, his office said.

Rand Paul says he'll vote in favor of the "motion to proceed" because of assurances from McConnell

Paul tweeted that McConnell informed him Tuesday morning that that the plan is to write on a repeal and delay plan that resembles a Senate-passed bill from 2015.

He said if that's the plan, he would vote in favor of the motion to proceed to begin debate.

CBS News' Rebecca Shabad and Emily Tillett contributed to this report.


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