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Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment

The Senate rejected a key proposal repealing and replacing ObamaCare on Tuesday night as senators start a dayslong debate on healthcare. 

 
GOP Sens. 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), Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 K.T. McFarland officially withdrawn as nominee for ambassador K.T. McFarland withdraws as nominee for ambassador MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThis week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid immigration fight Ingraham: White House yanked immigration plan defense from show After shutdown surrender, why should progressives ever trust Chuck Schumer again? MORE (Ark.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerHeller campaign slams GOP rival over six-figure nonprofit salary Juan Williams: Help Trump climb down from the wall GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races MORE (Nev.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRubio on push for paid family leave: ‘We still have to work on members of my own party’ National ad campaign pushes Congress to pass legislation lowering drug prices Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (Utah), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranUber: 'No justification' for covering up data breach Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky 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 MORE (Kan.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiLawmakers scold Trump official over Pacific island trust fund Republican agenda clouded by division Greens sue over Interior plans to build road through Alaska refuge MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Rand Paul calls for punishment if Congress can't reach a long-term budget deal MORE (Ky.) voted against the repeal-and-replace proposal on the procedural hurdle. No Democrats voted for it. 
 
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The proposal was the first amendment to get a vote after senators took up the House-passed healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act, which is being used as a vehicle for any Senate action, earlier Tuesday
 
But it was widely expected to fall short of the 60 votes it needed because the Congressional Budget Office didn't analyze either the Cruz or Portman proposal that was packaged in with the BCRA.
 
Tuesday night's vote doesn't prevent GOP leadership from offering another repeal-and-replace amendment or another version of BCRA. 
 
It could also help GOP leadership get rank-and-file senators on the record as they try to figure out a path forward.
 
A vote on an amendment that would repeal much of ObamaCare is expected on Wednesday
 
Cruz acknowledged ahead of the late-night vote that the amendment wasn't likely to be approved, but he appeared optimistic that Republicans would be able to get to an agreement before a final vote this week. 
 
"I will say the bill before the Senate ... is not likely to pass tonight but I believe at the end of the process the contours within it are likely to be what we enact, at least the general outlines," Cruz said from the Senate floor ahead of the vote. 
 
Cruz said he expects his amendment to end up in the final version of the healthcare bill. 
 
"I believe we will see the consumer freedom amendment in the legislation that is ultimately enacted," he said. 
 
Murkowski was greeted by protestors outside the Capitol who chanted "stay strong Lisa." 
 
Asked whether she would support a "skinny repeal" bill, she said it's not clear what it would entail. 
 
"I don't know that any of us have defined what that might be."
 
Cruz's provision would allow insurance companies to sell plans that did not meet ObamaCare's requirements, as long as they also offered plans that did.
 
Portman's, meanwhile, would aim to lower insurance costs for individuals in Medicaid expansion states, like Ohio, but could also apply to other low-income Americans. 

The provision would add $100 billion to the bill's state stability fund to help people who might lose the coverage they got under ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. These funds could help cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.

Portman said he "worked with the president, vice president and administrative officials" to "improve this bill further to help out low-income Ohioans."