With the apparent failure of the Senate’s Obamacare replacement, the fate of which was sealed by opposition from GOP Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran, Senate leader Mitch McConnell has decided to go with Trump’s desire and aim for a “repeal-only” vote that would take effect in two years’ time. (You can read about the complicated procedural nuts and bolts of how that would work here.)
Here's what McConnell said Tuesday morning on the Senate floor:
“We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief for Obamacare. I believe we owe them at least that much. In the coming days, the Senate will take up and vote on a repeal of Obamacare combined with a stable two-year transition period as we work toward patient-centered health care.”
McConnell would need 50 votes, which means he can only afford three defections from his party. But the first defection came almost immediately, from West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito:
You never want to count the Republicans out, especially with their track record of closing ranks and stepping in line at the critical moment, but it really seems like this entire plan is coming apart at the seams.