MCCONNELL: 'It's time to move on'

Mitch McConnellCNNMitch McConnell on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday said it was time to “move on,” suggesting it was time to work with Democrats on healthcare after Senate Republicans suffered a stunning defeat in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“The American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward. And as I said, we look forward to our colleagues on the other side suggesting what they have in mind,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“It’s time to move on,” he added, before outlining a Friday Senate agenda that did not include healthcare.

Early Friday morning, the Senate voted against a “skinny” plan to repeal the law known as Obamacare. It was a last-ditch effort after earlier votes on the Senate’s healthcare plans failed.

The vote failed, with 49 voting in favour and 51 voting against. Three Republican senators — McCain, as well as Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted no. All 48 Democrats joined them.

McConnell has struggled for weeks to build consensus within his conference around a healthcare plan. Republicans went through multiple versions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The “skinny” repeal was meant to become a vehicle for the Senate to be able to form a conference with the House of Representatives on healthcare legislation.

It failed when McCain came to the Senate floor and loudly announced his opposition.

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