On a 43-57 vote, the BCRA with the Cruz amendment attached that destroyed pre-existing conditions was defeated. Actually, it was a procedural vote to override the Budget Act before proceeding to the bill itself and required 60 votes, but it was at least symbolically a vote on the bill since its defeat means they will never vote on that particular iteration of "repeal and replace."
Nine Republican Senators voted against it. They were Senators Collins, Corker, Cotton, Graham, Heller, Lee, Moran, Murkowski, and Paul. Note that Senator Capito is missing from the list. She just voted to take Medicare away from thousands in her state and endanger everyone else who has pre-existing conditions.
One notable Republican Senator who just hours before had insisted he could not vote for the bill as advanced for debate in its current form was Senator John McCain, who jetted back from Arizona to facilitate debate so he could then castigate Republican senators for not being bipartisan.
But tonight, Senator McCain voted to waive the Budget Act on a bill he "could. not. vote. for." just hours before. Just hours before! Watch the video at the top where he insists upon that!
Do not believe anything these Republicans say. Nothing. The only senators who have been consistent are Murkowski and Collins. The rest of them have been liars whenever it benefits them to be liars, including the hero who is no hero, John McCain.
Al Franken just begged everyone to keep making their voices heard. He said that is the only thing that matters right now. So please do not be discouraged. Be LOUD instead.
The votes are done for tonight. Tomorrow will bring a vote on more bills which will fail before the vote-a-rama begins, where Senators can offer amendments to what will basically be a shell bill repealing the mandates and device tax.
We will be following along. Watch this space.
UPDATE: The next vote will be for repeal only, and will take place tomorrow. It, too, needs 60 votes to waive the Budget Act requirements.