Wednesday, July 26, 2017

John McCain returns to Senate with a message: "Let's return to regular order."

And then he voted for the repeal-and-replace bill that would harm hundreds of thousands of Arizonans. Read on for disconnects between what Republicans say and what Republicans do.

NPR reports Sen. McCain Calls For Compromise In Return To Senate Floor. The report contains both video of the speech and its transcript. Following are portions of the transcript which I think capture his messages to his Senate colleagues - on both sides.

I hear the senate referred to as the world’s greatest deliberative body. I’m not sure we can claim that distinction with a straight face today.

Let’s return to regular order. We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. That’s an approach that’s been employed by both sides, mandating legislation from the top down without any support from the other side, …

I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments to be offered. I will not vote for this bill as it is today. It’s a shell of a bill right now, we all know that. I have changes urged by my state governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage.

We tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them that it’s better than nothing. That it’s better than nothing? Asking us to swallow our doubts and force it passed a unified opposition. I don’t think that’s going to work in the end, and probably shouldn’t.

… let’s return to regular order—let the health, education, labor and pensions committee under chairman Alexander and ranking member Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from both sides. [Applause]

This place is important. The work we do is important. Our strange rules and seemingly eccentric practices that slow our proceedings and insist on our cooperation are important. Our founders envisioned the Senate as the more deliberative careful body that operates at a greater distance than the other body from the public passions of the hour. We are an important check on the powers of the executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurist and powerful government officials and in many respects to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal.

I have every intention of returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all the nice things you said about me.

His fighting spirit is also likely to give his Trumpublican adversaries serious heart burn. Like Kelli Ward.

Kelli Ward says McCain should quit so she can take over reports Laurie Roberts at The Republic/azcentral.com. “Kelli Ward sees an opportunity to get to Washington, right over Sen. John McCain’s live body.” Sorry, Kelli Ward. Nobody is going to appoint you as anything, not even cat catcher. (I’m a dog guy.) McCain is alive and alert - watch the video of his speech. Roberts has but one of the reports of Ward’s suggestion about who should succeed McCain - herself, natch.

Leave it to Kelli Ward to see Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor as an opportunity for personal advancement.

And she, a doctor. How callous can you be?

Hey, at least, Sen. McCain’s is getting treatment for his cancer.

Sadly, Kelli Ward’s disturbing tendency to become delusional remains undiagnosed.

Read the rest of Roberts’ smack down to answer the question: How callous can Ward be?

However …

In spite of his criticism of Republican tactics and appeal for cooperation, when it came to a vote Tuesday night on one of the Republican health bills, McCain voted the party line. The NY Times reported Senate Votes Down Broad Obamacare Repeal.

The Tuesday night vote was on a comprehensive amendment that included disparate proposals calculated to appeal to conservatives and moderates in the Republican caucus.

One proposal, offered by Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, would have allowed insurers to sell stripped-down health plans, without maternity care or other benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, if they also sold plans that included such benefits.

The amendment also included money to help pay out-of-pocket medical costs for low-income people, including those who buy private insurance after losing Medicaid coverage as a result of the Senate bill. This proposal was devised by Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and other senators from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The Tuesday night tally needed to reach 60 votes to overcome a parliamentary objection. Instead, it fell 43–57. The fact that the comprehensive replacement plan came up well short of even 50 votes was an ominous sign for Republican leaders still seeking a formula to pass final health care legislation this week.

Here is How Each Senator Voted on Full Obamacare Repeal-and-Replace. I’ll save you the time: both McCain and Flake voted for it.

Remember McCain’s promise? “I will not vote for this bill as it is today.”

And then he did just that.

“We are ground zero for the failure of the exchanges, but we are also an expansion state,” Mr. Flake said. “I think all of us are concerned that we don’t pull the rug out from people.”

And then he voted to do just that.

You want an another example of callous?

Given the divisions within their caucus, Senate Republican leaders were considering a new approach to keeping their repeal quest alive: They could try to reach agreement on a slimmed-down bill that would repeal a few major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, like the penalties imposed on people who go without insurance and businesses that do not offer insurance to their employees. Republican leaders would not intend such a bill to become law, but they believe that it could win approval in the Senate.

That “skinny” bill could then be a basis for negotiations with the House.

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