WASHINGTON, DC- The Senate voted today on whether or not Mitch McConnell’s bill to repeal Obamacare would be pushed forward into debate. After the bill was drafted in secret, and after weeks of public controversy, the bill will soon be debated on the Senate floor. Throughout this process, Senator Ron Johnson, who is frustrated that the bill does not go far enough to cut taxes for the rich, has resisted the bill. However, Senator Johnson fell in line today, and delivered the 50th vote, allowing Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie.
Eliza Collins with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin cast the key 50th vote Tuesday as the Senate narrowly agreed to take up Obamacare repeal legislation.
Johnson’s dramatic vote helped deliver a win for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who cajoled enough of his Republican colleagues to vote to move forward despite having no idea what the final bill will look like.
Without a single Democratic vote, 50 Republicans voted to begin Senate debate on a House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the Senate, cast the 51st vote to break the tie.
Johnson was widely expected to vote yes on Tuesday, but he was one of the last senators to step on to the floor and huddled at length with McConnell, creating a sense of last-minute drama over his vote. Then Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, arrived after flying to D.C., and McCain and Johnson quickly announced their “yes” votes, ensuring Pence would break the partisan tie.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.