House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats took a victory lap Friday hours after three Senate Republicans helped defeat a bill to repeal parts of Obamacare, and called for both parties to come together and shore up the healthcare system.
Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and other lawmakers expressed how grateful they were with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after he cast the deciding vote against the bill. Pelosi said it was a "victorious" night for the American people.
"I know it was a late night, but a victorious one for the American people," Pelosi said. "I want to thank Sen. McCain for establishing a higher level of participation as to how we should proceed and to senators who courageously — Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Collins, and Sen. McCain — thank you for hearing the voices of the families."
"Right now, we go forward recognizing the value of the Affordable Care Act, which, last night, was once again protected, and we take great pride in that. But we also know that there are updates and improvements we can make," Pelosi said. She called on Speaker Paul Ryan to work across the aisle to improve the law, and for President Trump not to withhold funds on cost sharing reductions for insurance companies.
Hoyer said the three Republican senators who voted against the bill voted the way other Republican senators were thinking. He called it a "joint responsibility" on the two parties in Congress to work toward a bipartisan product on healthcare.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., told reporters that the vote gives the two parties a chance to shift back to "regular order."
"I think we all agree this is not a moment for triumphalism," Neal said. "As we proceed on to tax reform, we need to employ a different model. This can't be done with one party."
Pelosi said that she has reached out to Ryan about working together on healthcare in the future, but has not yet received a response.