Republicans needed a simple majority of votes to clear the repeal rules, instructing committees to begin drafting repeal legislation, through the upper chamber, with the vote falling largely along party lines.
Instead, Democrats rose one by one from their seats on the Senate floor in protest to state why they were voting against the resolution.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: 'What do the Russians have on Mr. Trump?' White House scoffs at CNN report on alleged Russian collusion Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination MORE (I-Vt.) warned that if the GOP resolution moved forward Americans would die.
Lawmakers were able to use the hourslong voting debate to force a vote on any amendment to the budget resolution. Some 180 amendments were filed.
The late-night passage of the budget resolution comes despite deep divisions on when and how to replace ObamaCare, which were on full display. Lawmakers spent more than six hours on the Senate floor and voted on more than 19 amendments, none of which were successfully added to the resolution.
But Republicans managed to avoid what was expected to be the top fight of the night, when a group of five GOP senators dropped their push to delay the ObamaCare repeal legislation.
Lawmakers had wanted to push the deadline for committee repeal proposals from Jan. 27 to March, which they argued was needed to give lawmakers extra time to lock down details on a replacement bill and work with the incoming Trump administration about next steps.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), one of the Republicans backing the amendment, said the decision was a result of a "very thoughtful discussions" within Republicans and recognizing that the Jan. 27 date is a "placeholder."
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) added that "we have assurances from leadership that this date is not a date that is set in stone."
But Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenate GOP hedges on ObamaCare repeal timeline GOP senator: 'We still need to figure out what the president was talking about' on wiretapping Live coverage: Day two of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Texas) had warned that pushing back the date could create a "jam" on the Senate floor with GOP lawmakers wanting to tackle an ambitious agenda in President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump looking at B cut to UN peacekeeping programs: report Pelosi blasts Trump’s ‘rookie error’ on ObamaCare repeal GOP Rep. Hunter under criminal campaign finance investigation MORE's first 100 days.
Trump said during a press conference on Wednesday that repeal and replace legislation would occur near simultaneously if not at the same time.
“It'll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially, simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably, the same day, could be the same hour,” he said.
But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — who was mocked by Trump during his press conference — told reporters that the president-elect “needs to call [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell because that's not where we're headed.”
McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly sidestepped being tied down on the details of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and didn't take a position on the GOP amendment earlier this week.
He said Wednesday that after Senate passage they can send the budget resolution "to the House and begin taking the next steps to finally move away from ObamaCare while we move ahead with smarter healthcare policies."
Most of Wednesday night’s action came from Democrats, who used the vote-a-rama to take votes on healthcare and entitlement programs, forcing Republicans to go on the record on a number of key issues.
Democrats are warning that if Republicans break ObamaCare, they will own any political backlash and roil the insurance market.
Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) appealed to Republicans earlier Wednesday, urging them to back down from the healthcare fight.
"If Republicans go forward with this plan, they may mollify their base, but they will ostracize and hurt the American people, and ultimately lose in the court of public opinion," he said.
Democrats forced votes on a myriad of non-binding amendments aimed at blocking legislation that would "make America sick again," a new Democratic slogan on the GOP plan to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement.
One, from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), would have made it harder to pass legislation that would “make young people sick again” and allow young adults to stay on their parents' healthcare coverage until they turn 26, one of the more popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Another, from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would have cracked down on legislation that would make "women sick again" by decreasing access to preventative healthcare, birth control and maternity care.
But Republicans defeated each of the amendments. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) broke ranks from her party and supported Baldwin's amendment.
The Senate also defeated a pair of competing amendments on importing prescription drugs.
Sanders tried to use Trump to win over Republicans for his amendment to allow drugs to be imported from Canada.
"Oh yeah? Well, I got arthritic dust AND bone dust."— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) January 12, 2017
(Late-night senate voting Floor discussion generally turns into #AilmentOneUpsmanship)