Last week, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, blamed Collins, Murkowski and Sen.
Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, DC, said that Trump's celebrations were a "premature victory lap". After 7 years of talking, we will soon see whether or not Republicans are willing to step up to the plate! "Thank you John", Trump tweeted.
But the Arizona Republican, now battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, did use his moment in the spotlight Tuesday to deliver a sobering message to colleagues.
McCain even criticized a repeal and replace effort during his absence in Arizona, calling on the GOP to open talks with Democrats on how to fix a growing health care crisis. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and every Senate Democrat to bring down the bill on a 49-51 vote. Legislatively, they have been plagued by starts and stops during the Trump presidency, unable to get their differing ideological factions on the same page. They say that was a protective move to give themselves flexibility, but it spooked senators and others that the House would try to move the Senate bill for a quick vote. "And right now, they aren't producing much for the American people".
Ther repeal "Obamacare" would impact the expansion of the Medicaid program. While it had long seemed headed toward defeat, Republicans Monday began showing glimmers of optimism.
As usual, Trump was blunter. "For Senate Republicans, this is their chance to keep their promise".
Moderates are anxious repeal will cost millions of low-income Americans their insurance and conservatives are angry the proposed Bills do not go far enough to gut Obamacare, which they consider government overreach.
If the vote fails, the Senate is next expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act, according to two congressional aides.
McConnell is a proud political pugilist whose very essence is defined by how many wins Republicans chalk up. But it won't necessarily be 20 hours straight, so this drama will likely drag out for several more days.
It should all come to a head Thursday on the Senate floor with a rare and frenzied procedural oddity called a "vote-a-rama" where all sides can offer unlimted amendments in rapid succession.
Then it goes to the president for the signature that enacts it into law. But just repealing the requirement would lead to a spike in premiums.
The law has been unpopular with GOP voters and the party has launched numerous attempts to dismantle the statute. One by one nearly every senator lined up to shake his hand and welcome him back.
Ever since 2010, Republicans have been largely united on scuttling the statute but divided over how to replace it. McCain is receiving medical care at the highly regarded Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and unlike many average Americans, he is at no risk of losing his coverage or his ability to receive treatment under the GOP bills. That's spoken to by the fervency of the protests against the GOP's efforts.
Collins and Murkowski have been unwavering in their opposition to their colleagues' efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act without also fixing numerous problems in health insurance coverage that plague the nation. It's similar to the Senate measure McConnell unveiled in June after writing it privately.
The mood was glum in the House GOP conference meeting Friday morning after the early-morning vote. Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska expressed their dissatisfaction with the bill and the process behind it by voting against the bill.