A distraught Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said early Friday morning that the Senate would "move on" from efforts to repeal Obamacare following the stunning defeat of his last ditch effort to pass some sort of healthcare bill.
"It's time to move on," McConnell, R-Ky., said from the floor after the Senate narrowly voted 51-49 to vote down an amendment for a "skinny" repeal of Obamacare.
McConnell said that he was disappointed in the result, which he has been working months on.
"Our only regret is we didn't achieve what we hoped to accomplish," he said. "I think the American people are gonna regret we couldn't find a better way."
Republicans were unable to pass their bill because they had three defections in their party and could lose no more than two. GOP senators who voted against repeal were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona, who returned from his home state this week after being diagnosed with brain cancer, in order to participate in the healthcare vote.
Democrats, all of whom opposed the bill, began cheering once it became clear that the vote would not pass, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., waved them off.
During his remarks, McConnell said it might be appropriate to hear some ideas from Democrats about fixes to the healthcare system. They may present a single payer option, he said, noting that he would want to see the public reaction to such a proposal. He did not respond to overtures from Democrats to work to fix Obamacare.