As Senator John McCain entered the Capitol on Tuesday to cast his vote in favour of the Republicans' promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare", there was high drama.
The vote on a motion to debate represents a last-ditch effort for Republicans to prevent their own divisions from pushing their health-care ambitions into oblivion - an urgency that could be felt in tweets early Tuesday morning from President Trump, who campaigned on ditching Obamacare. During that period, replacement legislation would presumably be passed.
The proposals should go through the usual committee process where experts present information and testify, instead of simply taking up politically partisan proposals on the Senate floor, Manchin told reporters Monday. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would have paved the way for the partial repeal and replacement of Obamacare, but it failed to meet the 60-vote threshold needed.
And that's just the start.
"We're using the budget process, so you have to pick up what passed the House".
After the vote, President Donald Trump thanked McCain for making the trip from Arizona and called him "a very courageous man" during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon at the White House.
That bill is highly unlikely to pass in its current form, but the Senate leadership has stressed the importance of at least voting on it in order for changes to then be introduced.
McCain has served in the Senate for 30 years.
McCain's office last night announced that he would return to the United States Senate today - a surprise to most in Washington who expected him to miss the crucial vote and return to Washington at a later date.
A bill that includes the "consumer freedom amendment" that Sens. But we certainly can get somewhere working in a regular way where people have a chance to get their voices heard. There is no lack of good policy. "And that's what we've got to turn".
Democrats signaled Tuesday that they are ready to play ball.
Most of his remarks on Tuesday, however, were directed at his fellow senators.
The motion's passage came after at least three senators who previously opposed proceeding to a version of a health-care bill made a decision to back Tuesday's motion: Sens. That's because Collins and Murkowski did what they do and voted no, but the rest of the Republicans held together. I think that's the way to do it. "If either one of them fails and another one succeeds, maybe we can find something in between that actually succeeds". "Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Sen".
Passing the motion to proceed does not mean Republicans have a consensus on a bill they can pass. So Johnson's vote was critical.
"Big day for HealthCare".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged colleagues in his party, which controls both chambers of Congress, to vote in favour of moving forward on the legislation. But an array of opponents, including many consumer and patient advocacy groups, say this bill could leave millions facing higher healthcare bills and less coverage.