Al Franken Recounts the Extraordinary Moments Leading Up to Health Care Vote

The Minnesota senator also reveals when he realized John McCain might vote “no.”

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) appeared on the Late Show on Tuesday to unpack the dramatic moments leading up to last week’s health care vote, telling Stephen Colbert that he had a hunch Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might shoot down the Republican bill to repeal Obamacare when a certain someone left the chamber.

“He didn’t want to be at the scene of the murder?” Colbert joked.

“The last vote he was there for the entire vote,” Franken explained. “And he had left the room, and that told me that [McCain] was going to vote no.”

Watch below to see whose exit tipped it all off:


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.