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miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018

Paul Ryan calls out John McCain for Obamacare betrayal

Remember when John McCain ruined the Obamacare repeal? Paul Ryan does.

The House Speaker recalled McCain’s last-minute “skinny repeal” killing vote on Fox Business on Tuesday, calling out the “maverick” Arizona GOP senator for upturning the Republicans’ best bet at killing former President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation after years of struggling to repeal the law.

Though Ryan (R-Wis.) didn’t explicitly name McCain in his interview, it was clear who he was talking about.

Ryan calls out McCain

“The House Republicans passed the biggest entitlement reform package ever when we passed our health care bill,” Ryan told Fox Business on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, somebody did this instead of that in the Senate, and it didn’t pass,” Ryan said, signaling a thumb-down and then a thumbs-up.

Ryan was referring to McCain’s infamous “nay” vote from July 2017, when the Arizona senator dramatically blocked the so-called “skinny repeal” that ended in a 49-51 tally. If the vote had tied, Vice President Mike Pence would have broken the tie in favor of the repeal, but McCain’s “nay” vote prevented that.

McCain had been diagnosed with brain cancer just one week before making a surprise return to Washington. He arrived at the Senate chamber around midnight, where he consulted with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) about his intention to vote against the repeal.

Over the course of the next two hours, tensions were high as senators mulled which way McCain would vote. After talking briefly with Vice President Pence in the Senate lobby, McCain made a dramatic return to the Senate floor at 1:29 a.m. to vote on the “skinny repeal.”

McCain famously entered the chamber before dramatically halting, pausing, and giving a fateful thumbs-down, to the chagrin of fellow Republicans. Watch McCain’s dramatic vote in the bottom right corner of the video below:

“Incremental reform”

In his Tuesday interview, Ryan acknowledged that an all-out Obamacare repeal in the Senate, where Republicans now hold a single-seat majority, was unlikely to go forward; Republicans missed their chance when they failed to convince McCain. Instead, Ryan pointed instead to “incremental reform.”

“Well, I think there are a lot of things we can do kind of incrementally,” Ryan said. “What we tried to do was do it all in the House bill with repeal and replace. Like I said, we passed it. And that bill — one guy in the Senate did this instead of that and that went down. That would have been the biggest entitlement reform bill ever passed by Congress.”

Ryan continued:

So what are we doing? We’re going back and doing it incrementally. Going back at incremental health care reform and other entitlement reforms so we can chip away at this problem.

Ryan also pointed to reform that could help balance the federal budget and tackle the “root cause” of deficits.

“We’ve got to reform our health care entitlements,” Ryan said. “That is why we can never give up on reforming health care, because if you reform health care, then you take care of the structural drivers of our debt, like Medicare and Medicaid.”

Hopefully, the GOP can continue to chip away at the remains of Obamacare, but for that, they’ll need McCain to work with his party — not against it. And we aren’t holding our breath on that.