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He wants regular order, and he wants it NOW. Or maybe not.


After doing his part to reignite interest in the terrible Graham-Cassidy bill a few weeks back, John McCain has decided that, no, he can't actually vote for it after all.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," he said in a statement

This probably means Mitch McConnell won't have the 50 votes he needs to pass the bill, which was supposed to go to a vote next Wednesday. So far, the only other Republican to say he definitely wouldn't vote for the bill was Rand Paul, who opposed it because it keeps too much of the Affordable Care Act in place -- like any of it. Maine's Susan Collins hadn't taken a definite position, but said last Friday she was "leaning against" the bill. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who joined Collins and McCain in opposing the last GOP Obamacare slaying in July, has also not said how she will vote, although Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham have been trying to load the bill with goodies that might persuade her.

Assuming Collins is a no (which seems a good bet) and that Paul stays a no (less likely a bet), then McCain could again be the vote that kills this latest attempt to kick 32 million Americans off health insurance. We'll believe it when we see it, of course -- McCain may also have given cover for one or two Rs to bravely run away as well, now. But it's definitely too soon to call this thing buried. Once we get to September 30, the time limit for an ACA repeal to be passed by reconciliation will pass, and then any further attempts would require 60 votes to move forward, so in eight days we can breathe a little easier.

McCain said his friendship with Graham wasn't quite enough to overcome his belief that rewriting the nation's healthcare system had to be done through regular order, and that he took "no pleasure" in announcing his decision to oppose it:

“The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I," he said.

For his part, Graham went with "gracious" on the Twitters, following that with a pledge to continue on, because Obamacare is "collapsing," which it most certainly isn't.

Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, and Mitch McConnell intend to keep pushing for this until either they force it through, time runs out, or they can't get enough votes. And if they can manage to attract Donald Trump's attention, he may push for the bill for a few minutes, too. We're glad to see McCain make the right choice on this, but it's no time to stop calling your Senators and telling them to vote against this, or if you're lucky enough to be in a blue state, to tell your Democratic senators to fight until the clock runs out.

Let's take a breather and put our feet up and you can have this as your OPEN THREAD.

[The Hill]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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