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Senate Passes Critical Motion To Advance Obamacare Repeal Efforts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update 3:  Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote and the motion to begin debate on a repeal of Obamacare has officially passed.

Senate

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Update 2:  With just two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voting 'no', the Senate has just passed a critical "Motion To Proceed" bill which will allow for debate to officially begin on a repeal of Obamacare.  The official tally included 50 'yes' votes which will allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding tie breaker vote to put Republicans over the edge.

Senate

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Update 1:  With 50 votes cast so far, two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have voted 'no', and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Johnson (R-WI) have yet to vote.  Both Senators will need to vote in 'yes' in order for the Motion to Proceed to pass.

Apparently Senator Johnson has still not made up his mind as he's currently huddling with Mitch McConnell on the sidelines and McCain's whereabouts is currently unknown.

What's a mic in this convo worth? pic.twitter.com/rhULvjmmiC

— ForexLive (@ForexLive) July 25, 2017

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After months of debate and wasted time on efforts to draft an Obamacare 'repeal and replace' bill, moments from now the Senate will vote on a procedural motion that could result in a "skinny repeal" of Obama's most controversial piece of legislation, without the replacement part, later this week. 

While Republicans still don't know exactly what they'll be voting on, The Hill noted that a 'skinny repeal' would likely include a repeal of the individual and employer mandates as well as the medical device tax as a way to bridge to a conference committee with the House. 

Senate Republicans are considering passing a dramatically scaled-down version of their ObamaCare repeal bill as a way to pass something and set up negotiations with the House, according to GOP aides.

The measure, known as a "skinny bill," is intended to be something all Republicans can agree on, so they can pass a bill and move to a conference committee with the House.

Aides say the scaled-down bill would likely just repeal ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

That would be a far narrower measure than the most recent Senate replacement bill, which also scaled down ObamaCare's subsidies and cut Medicaid.

Senator Rand Paul, who was a vocal critic of the Senate's last 'repeal and replace' bill (see: New Op-Ed From Senator Rand Paul Blasts GOP Decision To "Keep Obamacare"), has confirmed that he will vote in favor of "whatever version of CLEAN repeal" can be passed with just 50 votes.

Paul tweeted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told him the upper chamber would take up the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill previously passed by Congress.

“If this is indeed the plan, I will vote to proceed and I will vote for any all measures that are clean repeal,” Paul said

Paul has pushed for a vote on the 2015 bill, which repeals large parts of ObamaCare's requirements and regulations, instead of the GOP repeal-and-replace plan that Republicans have been working on this year.

If that measure can't get the 60 votes it needs, which is unlikely, Paul said he would support "whatever version of CLEAN repeal we can pass."

And, in a stunning series of last minute reversals, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have also confirmed they'll support the motion to proceed.

Meanwhile, adding to the dramatics of today's critical vote, Senator John McCain has returned from Arizona, after being diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically to participate in the process.

Tune in below for a live feed of the vote:


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