Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has seemingly become the chief defender of Obamacare on Capitol Hill. His repeated no-votes in Congress’ upper chamber have tanked Obamacare’s repeal throughout the year.
President Trump, who, like McCain, ran on a pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, has publicly blasted the Arizona Senator for failing to live up to his promises. As Gateway Pundit notes, Trump on Monday tweeted a six-minute video compilation of McCain’s public vows to eliminate Barack Obama’s signature health policy.
A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O’Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk! pic.twitter.com/t9cXG2Io86
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
The many promises mark a stark difference to McCain’s most recent stances, which have been to abandon the prospect of repeal over a desire to find a “bipartisan” solution with Democrats–the authors of the law McCain has so often denounced.
The latest repeal effort which the long-time Arizona senator has shot down is the Graham-Cassidy bill, co-sponsored by McCain’s close friend Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham-Cassidy would have repealed Obamacare through the use of block grants–essentially transforming Medicaid and giving states discretion over how to use federal funds.
Because of the extremely close division between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, GOP lawmakers can only afford to lose a couple of votes in order to pass legislation. The Graham-Cassidy bill has not garnered enough support to make it through.
In addition to McCain, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY), have stated they will not support the bill. Thus, the “block grant” Obamacare repeal is dead before even arriving.
For the moment, it appears Americans will have to wait until next year to witness the demise of the controversial–and many believe unconstitutional– Obama-era policy. President Trump has expressed his dissatisfaction with Congress’s failure to achieve a major party platform.
Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to claim that McCain’s actions are in conflict with the will of the people who elected him. He wrote: “Democrats are laughingly saying that McCain had a ‘moment of courage.’ Tell that to the people of Arizona who were deceived. 116% increase!”
McCain’s blocking of Obamacare repeal efforts has led to his widespread unpopularity with the GOP base. But health care isn’t the only issue on which McCain has parted ways with his colleagues and constituents. As The Hill reports, McCain recently sponsored a bill to bypass President Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military. As seen at Newsweek, McCain has also come out in support of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
On Monday, Trump tweeted a six-minute video compilation of McCain’s public vows to eliminate Barack Obama’s signature health policy. Did McCain betray Arizona voters?
Even fellow Republican politicians are rebuking McCain for his perceived betrayal of conservative positions. As Christian News Alerts reported, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is one of the most prominent voices criticizing the Arizona senator. Gohmert says “recalling” McCain would be the best thing for his health given his brain tumor.
However, the Constitution does not provide for the “recall” of Senators on the national level. The only method for removing someone–other than voting–is through a two-thirds vote by members of the Senate. Given McCain’s close relationship with many members of the legislature, an expulsion is unfeasible.
For the moment, McCain has slowed the Obamacare repeal effort to a standstill. The apparent gridlock in the Senate will most likely continue until the Arizona senator retires or additional conservative Republicans are elected.