McCain urges 'a fresh start' on healthcare reform
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Meghan McCain: Melania is 'my favorite Trump, by far' Kelly says Trump not likely to extend DACA deadline MORE (R-Ariz.) on Friday is looking forward to "a fresh start" on healthcare reform after joining Democrats to defeat the Republican ObamaCare repeal bill overnight.

He urged his Senate colleagues to put partisanship aside and "trust each other" as they look for a path forward. 

"I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to trust each other, stop the political gamesmanship, and put the healthcare needs of the American people first. We can do this," McCain said in a statement. 

McCain helped kill the Senate GOP "skinny" repeal plan during a dramatic early-morning vote, which marked a major setback for a key GOP agenda item.

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McCain refused to tell reporters ahead of time how he would vote. He appeared to catch some of his colleagues by surprise when he joined with GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowksi (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation Longtime Clinton confidant blames Comey for 2016 loss MORE (Maine) to help Democrats defeat the slimmed-down GOP leadership repeal plan. 

"It is now time to return to regular order with input from all of our members — Republicans and Democrats — and bring a bill to the floor of the Senate for amendment and debate," he said. 

The GOP was harshly criticized for crafting the bill in private. McCain has blasted his own party's process for happening behind closed doors and without public hearings.

McCain added that he has "great faith" in Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSanders wants pharma CEOs to testify on opioid crisis Trump expects us to trade clean air and water for updated infrastructure House GOP warming to ObamaCare fix MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayLawmakers eye retirement help for gig economy workers Overnight Regulation: Labor Department reportedly hid unfavorable report on tip-pooling rule | NY plans to sue EPA over water rule | Senators urge FTC to probe company selling fake Twitter followers Trump's vows to take on drug prices, opioids draw skepticism MORE (D-Wash.) to come up with a bipartisan healthcare bill. Both senators have expressed an interest in having the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which they oversee, hold healthcare hearings.

The 80-year-old senator said on Friday that the Senate has recently succumbed to "partisan rancor and gridlock."

"Our inability to address the pressing healthcare needs of the American people with meaningful and lasting reform is inexcusable," he said.

Senators in both parties said in the immediate wake of the failed vote that they were willing to listen to ideas from across the aisle. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.), in an emotional floor speech, put the onus on Democrats, saying: "Now I think it's appropriate to ask what are their ideas."