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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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Biden-GOP infrastructure talks off to rocky start Moderate GOP senators and Biden clash at start of infrastructure debate MORE (Maine), Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 It's time for Biden's Cuba MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonMcConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (Ark.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOn management of Utah public lands, Biden should pursue an accountable legislative process Rubio asks MLB commissioner if he'll give up Augusta golf club membership Why some Republicans think vaccine passports will backfire on Democrats MORE (Utah), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranBipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them Trump allies line up ahead of potentially bruising primaries MORE (Kan.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump looms large over GOP donor retreat in Florida Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Biden-GOP infrastructure talks off to rocky start MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements 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."