Hannity, who delivered his remarks prior to the late-night Senate vote, slammed the Republican Party for "begging" the American people to seven long years to give them the opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare and now "they're doing their best to squander it". According to a Slate reporter in the chamber, McConnell was "very clearly angry and shaken" in the aftermath of the vote.
One particularly striking part of McConnell's and his lieutenants' strategy is that GOP leadership began openly telling its members that the "skinny" repeal would never become the law of the land. Even many Republicans in the Senate seemed to agree that it was awful legislation.
Senator John McCain, who returned to the Senate this week after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the measure. "But if they do the same thing, if they keep going with reconciliation, they're putting the same sign out on the door: 'No Democrats wanted, ' like they did with health care".
After the CBO's assessment was revealed Wednesday evening, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed his Republican counterparts on the Senate floor, calling ongoing arguments on the matter a "sham".
The so-called "skinny repeal" proposal comes after Republican leaders failed to pass their version of the health care bill and failed to get enough support to repeal all of Obamacare without offering an alternative.
McConnell has struggled to find a compromise that satisfies conservatives, who have demanded a wholesale repeal of Obamacare, and moderates, who have been unnerved by predictions the bill would significantly boost the ranks of uninsured Americans. So now they seem to be rallying the troops around what's being referred to as a "skinny repeal". "The reality, however, is that repealing and replacing Obamacare still ultimately requires the Senate to produce 51 votes for an actual plan". "No way. If you passed it as a standalone proposition it would destroy the insurance markets and we would own the failure of Obamacare".
Democratic groups flooded the halls of the Capitol and GOP town hall events around the country to protest the GOP's repeal efforts. It was then that the Arizona Republican told the Democrats his decision.