Graham reaffirms friendship with McCain despite opposition to ObamaCare repeal

Graham reaffirms friendship with McCain despite opposition to ObamaCare repeal
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDurbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration Overnight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement MORE (R-S.C.) reaffirmed his friendship with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.) Friday after McCain announced his opposition to the ObamaCare repeal bill co-sponsored by Graham.

“My friendship with John McCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is," Graham said in a statement. "I respectfully disagree with his position not to proceed forward on Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson."

McCain announced Friday that he would vote against the latest GOP proposal to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

McCain also voted against the last Republican effort to repeal and replace former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGeorge W. Bush honors father at benefit for hurricane victims Dem senator: ‘I miss every one of’ our last 5 presidents All five living former presidents appear at hurricane relief benefit concert MORE's signature health-care bill. Both times, McCain has been a key vote in the Republican effort to pass legislation.

Graham said his bill, which he is co-sponsoring with GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyBen Shapiro: Who died and made Jimmy Kimmel Jesus? Dems look to turn ObamaCare tables on GOP in '18 Congress misses deadline to reauthorize childrens' health care program MORE (La.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks Senate Homeland Security chairman backs bump-stock ban after Las Vegas shootings MORE (Wis.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerNevada senators urge airlines to enact new policies after Las Vegas shooting Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE (Nev.), is Republicans’ “best chance to repeal and replace ObamaCare” and accused ObamaCare of “collapsing in Arizona, South Carolina and across the nation — driving up premiums and reducing choices.”

“I feel an obligation to fix this disaster and intend to push forward for state-centric health care vs. Washington-knows-best health care,” Graham said.

“Taking money/power out of Washington & returning it to states to administer [health care] is the best way to replace a collapsing Obamacare system,” he continued. “I’m excited about solutions we have found in Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.  We press on.”

“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 on Friday.

McCain’s opposition leaves Republicans with no room for error as they try to gather the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (R-Ky.) has already announced his opposition to the bill, and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (R-Maine) said Friday she is “leaning against” the bill.