Senate advances health care bill

07/25/2017 05:26 PM

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to advance debate on health care legislation in the U.S. Senate Tuesday.

All but two Senate Republicans voted yes on the motion. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, made a dramatic return to the Senate to cast one of the final two votes in favor of the procedural motion.

McCain addressed the chamber after voting was complete and urged the chamber to start working together.

“We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” McCain said. “That’s an approach that’s been employed by both sides. Mandating legislation from the top down without any support from the other side, with all the parliamentary maneuvers that requires. We’re getting nothing done.”

While McCain did vote yes to begin debate on the legislation, he said he will not vote for the bill as it’s written.

“I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments be offered,” McCain said. “I will not vote for this bill as it is today. It is a shell of a bill right now. We all know that.”

Both of Kentucky’s senators, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, voted for the motion to begin debate.

Before the vote, McConnell addressed the chamber saying the House had already passed legislation and that Tuesday marked the upper chamber’s turn.

McConnell called on his fellow GOP senators to vote in favor of the motion to start debate, reminding them of campaign promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“It’s the vote that determines whether this debate can proceed at all, whether we’ll even take it up,” McConnell said. “After four straight elections where this was a huge commitment to the American people.”

According to the Atlantic, McConnell introduced the first substitute amendment after the vote. That amendment would replace the American Health Care Act passed by the House with an updated version of the 2015 repeal-only bill.

See the end of our previous story to learn more about what happens now that the motion to begin to debate has passed.

Videos courtesy: C-SPAN

Madeline Janicki

Madeline is a producer for Spectrum News. You can watch her work on Pure Politics, the only statewide nightly show dedicated solely to Kentucky Politics. Madeline is an Indiana native and received her degree in Communications from Indiana University. Her background is as a news producer but her passion for civic engagement and drive to bring voters information on issues that impact their lives brought her to Pure Politics. Here she gets to work on projects like her multi-part digital series on how the national group Teach For America is working in Eastern Kentucky Schools. If you have a story idea, email her at


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