Here’s the Exact Moment Obamacare Repeal Died in the Senate

Watch John McCain cast the deciding vote.

Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma

In a dramatic late-night vote, three Republican senators joined every Democrat in narrowly defeating the so-called “skinny” repeal of Obamacare. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) cast the deciding votes, ending—for now—the GOP’s efforts to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. For several hours leading up to the vote, it was unclear what McCain would do. Democrats on the Senate floor applauded after he voted no.

McCain, who has cancer, returned to the Capitol earlier this week while recovering from surgery. He cast the deciding procedural vote in favor of beginning debate on several Republican proposals to repeal Obamacare. All those proposals were voted down.

In the run-up to the vote on the skinny repeal early Friday, the GOP leadership kept an earlier vote open for more than an hour while Vice President Mike Pence appeared to be lobbying McCain to support the bill. It seems that whatever Pence said wasn’t enough.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

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

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


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.