It appears that the straight Obamacare repeal vote will fail to reach the 50 votes needed to pass. Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Pence able to break a 50-50 tie. Since Democrats will never vote to repeal the ACA, that means Republicans can only afford two defectors. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted against ACA repeal when it was passed in 2015 and vetoed by Barack Obama. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Shelley Capito (R-WV) voted for repeal in 2015, but have both publicly come out against straight repeal.
Capito issued a statement saying, “My position on this issue is driven by its impact on West Virginians…With that in mind, I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians.”
Murkowski offered a similar response, “I think what has to happen is the Republicans have to admit that some of the things in the ACA, we actually liked, and the Democrats have to admit that some of the things they voted for in the ACA are broken and need to be fixed,”
While it is incredibly disappointing that Collins is not on board with repeal, it is downright disgusting that Murkowski and Capito have flipped with a Republican President. They were on board with repeal when there was no possibility of it happening. Now they’ve sold out their constituents, their party, and the American people that have overwhelmingly elected Republicans for the past 8 years.
The impacts of opposing straight repeal, after previously supporting it, are giagantic. In 2010 Republicans said we need the House to repeal Obamacare, and we gave them the House. In 2014 Republicans said we need the Senate to repeal Obamacare. In 2015, Lisa Murkowski and Shelley Capito said they would support repeal, but we need a President that won’t veto. In response, we gave them the White House. Now these two Senators are making the Republican Party into liars, and the American people don’t like it. If the GOP loses the Senate or House in 2018, it will be Murkowski and Capito’s fault.
The people of Alaska and West Virginia should remember this moment. If supporting Obamacare doesn’t doom your political career, lying about it certainly should. Efforts should be underway right now to primary both of these “Republican” senators. Democrats don’t need Hillary, they have Lisa Murkowski.