Pence after GOP defections: 'Trump and I are undeterred' on ObamaCare repeal

Vice President Pence on Friday called on Republicans in the Senate to vote for current legislation meant to overturn ObamaCare, after a high profile defection by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.) announced minutes before the speech left the bill's fate hanging by a thread.

"A vote against Graham-Cassidy is a vote to save ObamaCare," Pence told a crowd in Anderson, Ind., speaking of the legislation co-sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTo lower prescription drug prices, fix existing drug discount programs Kimmel writer tweets amount NRA has given lawmakers in response to shooting prayers Overnight Regulation: Trump unveils budget | Sharp cuts proposed for EPA, HHS | Trump aims to speed environmental reviews | Officials propose repealing most of methane leak rule MORE (La.).

“It’s time for every member of the Republican majority to keep their word to the American people,” he said, without specifically calling out McCain for his opposition. 


The bill is one of the GOP's last ditch attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, a promise multiple Republicans ran on in the last election where they won the majority in the House and Senate.

"The Republican majority in Congress in particular was not elected to save ObamaCare, they were elected to repeal and replace it," Pence said.

Congress has until Sept. 30 to pass the bill using a special budget procedure called reconciliation, which would require 50 votes plus a tie-breaker from Pence to pass the Senate.

McCain's Friday announcement that he would opposed the bill, along with Kentucky Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points GOP's tax reform bait-and-switch will widen inequality Pentagon budget euphoria could be short-lived MORE's previously announced opposition, left the bill on a razor's edge. Republicans cannot lose any more votes on the measure.

Pence called out "opposition" to the bill in a tweet that doubled down on the Trump administration's determination to pass the legislation.

Several Republican senators are wary of the bill, such as Alaska Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe siren of Baton Rouge Interior plan to use drilling funds for new projects met with skepticism The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework MORE, and could put the final nail in the coffin should they decide to vote "no."

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," McCain said in a statement Friday.

Pence also addressed tax reform in his speech and called on Democratic Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Dem group launches M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators Senate rejects Trump immigration plan MORE, the incumbent from Indiana, to support tax reform efforts.

"Joe, let's decide today we're gonna get this tax cut done, and we're gonna get it done together," Pence said.

Donnelly, who joined Pence on stage at the event, is one of a number of vulnerable Democratic senators, such as Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate rejects Trump immigration plan Cramer to announce North Dakota Senate run on Friday Senate Democrats not sold on bipartisan immigration deal MORE (N.D.), the White House is trying to woo to support the tax reform effort.