After Senator McConnell announced Tuesday that Senate Republicans failed to pass an Obamacare replacement, he said they will explore a straight repeal and focus on the replacement later. This is what Republican voters have been promised since Obamacare was originally passed.
The Senate passed this bill in 2015, but President Obama vetoed it. Now that Republicans control the House, Senate and White House, some Senators are changing their position and refusing to support repeal.
48 of the current GOP Senators voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015, 3 were not serving yet, and Susan Collins of Maine did not support it then or now. The new Senators, Todd Young of Indiana, Luther Strange of Alabama, and John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana all supported repeal of Obamacare during their campaigns. This should result in 51 “Yes” votes, and a successful repeal of Obamacare.
However, now three Senators who voted for repeal in 2015 have stated that they may change their votes. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia stated they plan to oppose the bill, and Rob Portman of Ohio hasn’t been clear, but implied he doesn’t support straight repeal. These Senators knew that even if they passed the bill in 2015, President Obama would veto it, so there was no danger of voting “Yes.” It’s clear they lied to constituents about their intent to repeal Obamacare to gain votes and donations.
President Trump won all 3 of these states in 2016, winning Ohio by 8.6%, Alaska by 15.2%, and West Virginia by 42.2%. Now that this bill is on the verge of failure too, President Trump will need to use his power of the bully pulpit to ensure he can get the votes for repeal.
Here is the list of 48 current GOP senators who voted yes in 2015.
Sen. Luther Strange replaced Jeff Sessions (R) in Alabama.
Sen. Todd Young replaced Dan Coats (R) in Indiana.
Sen. John Neely Kennedy replaced David Vitter (R) in Louisiana.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted “No” in 2015.