The 3 senators who sank the Republican health care push

All eyes were on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during the razor-thin “skinny” repeal vote, with eagle-eyed CSPAN watchers reading the tea leaves of his motions across the Senate floor.

But he wasn’t the only star of the show.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, had adamantly opposed the bill repeatedly during the past month of debate on the issue.

And their “no” votes came before McCain’s now-famous thumbs-down motion, officially sinking the bill.

It would be hard for the trio’s home states to be farther apart, but they came together on the vote in a devastating way for the Republican Party at large in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Collins and Murkowski have been outspoken in their opposition to the Medicaid cuts, and Collins has come to the defense of Planned Parenthood as well.

In her statement following the vote, Collins stressed the importance of a bipartisan approach for a solution, writing that “rather than engaging in partisan exercises, Republicans and Democrats should work together and address these vert serious problems.”

And Murkowski posted a tweet, saying, “This isn’t about winning. This is about service to our state and service to our country.”

McCain had not been as vocal about his opposition in the weeks leading up to the vote, having been away from Washington, D.C., for part of the debate. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot near his eye on July 14 and doctors subsequently discovered a brain tumor, which was announced on July 19.

He returned to Washington on July 25 to cast the decision-making vote in a procedural motion that allowed Thursday night’s debate on health care to continue.

In a statement released following his vote early this morning, McCain said that “from the beginning” he has believed that Obamacare should be…

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