U.S. Sen. John McCain said Friday he will not support his party’s Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation, dashing hopes for GOP leaders.
He is the second Republican in the Senate to publicly oppose Graham-Cassidy.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 22, 2017
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement. “I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it.
“The bill’s authors are my dear friends and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I,” McCain wrote.
McCain joins Kentucky Republican Rand Paul in opposing the bill, while Susan Collins of Maine said Friday she is leaning against it, according to a Portland newspaper. Senate Republicans can afford to lose no more than two members of their 52-48 majority and pass the bill.
The statement recalls McCain’s dramatic return to Washington in July after a brain-cancer diagnosis, when he cast the decisive “no” vote to send a health plan by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell down to a stunning 49-51 defeat.
The GOP drive to gut the Affordable Care Act is using a dramatically short-circuited process that seeks to replace one landmark health law with another introduced just two weeks ago by Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
McConnell had said earlier this week that he intended to hold a Senate vote next week before a Sept. 30 deadline to use a fast-track procedure allowing a simple majority vote. David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about McCain’s decision. full story