GOP dealt stiff blow in Senate’s bid to repeal ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Opponents of the Republican drive to repeal “Obamacare” have dealt President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers a huge blow, rejecting a measure to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Unable to pass even a so-called “skinny repeal,” it was unclear if Senate Republicans could advance any health bill despite seven years of promises to repeal Obama’s signature legislation.

At the end of a night of high suspense in the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This is clearly a disappointing moment.” He also said after the early Friday vote: “I regret that our efforts were not enough, this time.”

The vote was 49-51.

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted with Democrats to defeat the measure.

McConnell said, “It’s time to move on.” He then put the health bill on hold and announced the Senate would take up other legislation next week.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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