TrumpCare is DEAD!
You read that right. It's over. Gone. Dunzo. At 1:30 AM last Friday morning, Senators Collins (Maine), Murkowski (Alaska), and McCain (Arizona) cast nay votes against skinny repeal, killing TrumpCare for good.
Here's how it unfolded.
McCain waited until after the procedural vote had already started – the no-turning back moment – to telegraph that he was a NO instead of a YES. This was a huge surprise, because McConnell never would have gone to a procedural vote (to be quickly followed by a vote on skinny repeal) without feeling like he had all the votes he needed to pass the bill. In fact, they even brought in Pence to break the expected 50-50 tie, that's how sure McConnell was he had the votes.
But as the procedural vote progressed, and lingered, and kept on lingering (it stayed open for more than an hour), it became apparent that McCain actually planned to vote with Collins and Murkowski. No amount of bullying or badgering from McConnell, other Republicans, even the Vice President himself, could sway either McCain or Murkowski from their no votes.
It was all super dramatic and incredible to watch unfold live. And it was increasingly clear that McCain planned to do it all along, in order to make a statement about the breakdown of regular order and norms in the Senate.
Collins and Murkowski deserve enormous credit too, especially Murkowski, for declaring themselves 'No' votes early on and not budging from their position, despite enormous pressure from their fellow Senators (and blackmail tactics from the Interior Department, in Murkowski's case).
This is a huge win for us.
Oh, you can be sure this isn't the last we'll ever hear about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But when it does come up again, they have to do it RIGHT – with bipartisan cooperation and a return to regular order, which has broken down dramatically in the Senate in recent weeks.
This victory belongs not just to the Senators who voted no, but to all the Resistance groups fighting to protect our health care. To you, the members of Indivisible, who have made repeated calls about health care.
You, who showed up at Senator Cassidy's office every week, sometimes twice a week, since January. (BTW, video of the Emergency Rally last Thursday ended up on Rachael Maddow!)
You, who showed up at every one of Senator Cassidy's town halls and made noise and pressured him about his stances on health care.
This is YOUR victory.
Revel in it.
We still have work to do. We will always have work to do. But enjoy the success. You earned it.
Then go make your calls. Because Senator Cassidy and Senaator Kennedy both voted FOR skinny repeal, and we've got to hold their feet to the fire for it, just like we said we would.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
WHO TO CALL:
Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I am very disappointed in the Senator for his yes vote last Friday morning in favor of skinny repeal. This was a bad bill, and the Senator knew it was a bad bill, created out of a bad process, but he voted for it anyway. He should be ashamed of his attempt to go back on his word to preserve coverage for Louisianans, lower our premiums, and protect against denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Thank goodness his colleagues did what he couldn't, and put the people of America first.
There's still time for the Senator to put this right. He can call for and participate in an open, bipartisan process to fix the problems in the Affordable Care Act, which means public hearings, accepting expert testimony, and a release of the full legislative text more than a couple of hours before a vote. He can still do this the right way, instead of the fast way.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.