With a very dramatic flair, Senator John McCain joined his Republican colleagues, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, in torpedoing the GOP’s Trumpcare bill. But just days earlier, everyone with any sense was absolutely furious with McCain for voting “yes” to advance Trumpcare to the Senate floor for a full vote.
We all felt betrayed, particularly since that “yes” had come from a man recently diagnosed with a very aggressive type of cancer. He has to return to his home state of Arizona for treatments most people can’t afford without insurance, that many can’t afford even with insurance, and that could bankrupt entire families later on if things like lifetime caps on coverage are ever reinstated.
But it’s possible that McCain actually had a grander plan, and his “yes” vote, moving the bill out of committee, was carefully calculated. The Senate was trying to pass Trumpcare under a process known as reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority to pass, instead of the usual 60-vote threshold. Check this out:
— Steve Simitzis Ⓥ (@s5) July 28, 2017
Essentially, what McCain did was make it so they can’t advance another Trumpcare bill to the floor and try to pass it as a reconciliation measure, at least, not without some massive changes to what they’re trying to do. The Senate can actually try to pass up to three reconciliation measures each year, but only one each for spending, revenues, and debt limit. They can also put any two or all three into a single bill.
While Republicans are still trying to scramble to put something together, they’ll have a very difficult time getting another reconciliation bill to the floor.
So McCain seems to have made a point of advancing the bill specifically so he, along with Murkowski, Collins, and the entire Democratic wing of the Senate, could effectively kill it for the rest of the fiscal year.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images