Dem senator on McCain: ‘I was trying not to jump up and down and smile’

Dem senator on McCain: ‘I was trying not to jump up and down and smile’
© Greg Nash

A Democratic senator said Friday that 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's (R-Ariz.) deciding vote to kill the GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare came as a joyful surprise to many Democrats.

Describing the mood in the Senate chamber during the vote, Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight 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 Hatch bill would dramatically increase H-1B visas Live coverage: Shutdown begins MORE (D-Conn.) said he was elated when McCain shared with Democrats how he planned to vote.

Just after 1 a.m., McCain suddenly moved from the Republican side of the chamber to converse with Democrats, including Coons. It was then that the Arizona Republican told the Democrats his decision.

"He stood with a group of us and said, 'I am a no,' " Coons told CNN after the vote. "I was trying not to jump up and down and smile."

McCain was one of three GOP senators who defected and joined Democrats to kill the Republican repeal effort, along with 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) and 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).

Senate leaders reacted to the Republicans' role in killing the bill with dismay.

“This is clearly a disappointing moment,” 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.) said.

“I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time. Now, I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. Probably pretty happy about all this. But the American people are hurting, and they need relief.”

After the vote, McCain said in a statement that he wanted to use the committee process to work on crafting a better bill to repeal ObamaCare that could actually pass the Senate and the House.

“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people,” McCain said in a statement early Friday.