Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ripped his party’s process for trying to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Monday but stopped short of saying he would oppose their latest bill.
“I have talked and talked and talked about the need to do regular order. I have amendments that I would like to have votes on … Am I going to be able to have those, or is [it] going to be an up or down vote? That’s not why I came to the Senate just to give up or down votes,” McCain told reporters.
McCain was one of three GOP senators who helped sink the ObamaCare repeal effort in late July.
He added on Monday that the process around a bill from GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.), which could get a vote next week, was “better” but signaled that he still isn’t satisfied.
“It’s better but it’s not what the Senate is supposed to be doing. … Is it better to be guilty of murder or train robbery?” he asked reporters.
McCain defined “regular order” as a bill being proposed, debated and amended in committee and then taken to the Senate floor.
“I’m not the one that waited nine months … it’s not my problem that we only have those few days,” he said, asked about the Senate’s current time crunch.
Republicans are nearing an end-of-the-month deadline to bring an ObamaCare repeal bill straight to the Senate floor and pass it by a simple majority.
Under the process, known as vote-a-rama, senators can force a vote on an unlimited number of amendments.
With 52 seats, they need to win over at least 50 senators to let Vice President Pence break a tie. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already come out against the bill.
McCain noted he was undecided on the Graham-Cassidy bill.
He said his governor’s endorsement was positive, but the legislation is still a “moving target.”
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