By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski effectively killed the new Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, saying Tuesday she would not support the move.
Her announcement to reporters at the Capitol building brings the number of Republicans who will not support the measure to three, effectively ending the repeal-only effort.
Shelley Moore Capito and Susan Collins previously announced their opposition.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier Tuesday the Senate would vote on the straight repeal legislation, but lacking support, it’s unclear if that would still happen.
He was forced to take up the repeal-only legislation Monday when four Republicans abandoned their party’s plan to repeal and replace “Obamacare”.
A fuming President Donald Trump urged Republicans to “let Obamacare fail” shortly after the bill was officially dead in the water.
“We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it,” he said after successive Republican attempts to replace the universal health care legislation failed.
Republicans have long rallied around a “repeal and replace” mantra aimed at the Affordable Care Act, and Trump made the effort a centerpiece of his presidential campaign last year.
But putting rhetoric into action has proven difficult for the party.
McConnell could afford to lose only two members of his caucus in the Senate where Republicans hold a slim 52-seat majority.
A tie would result in Vice President Mike Pence casting a vote, which would almost certainly fall in line with his party’s leadership.