I can’t say I’m surprised by this. Promises and previous votes were clearly just posturing for some Republicans. The plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it later failed to get enough votes to pass because seven Republican Senators joined the Democrats in voting “no.”

Senators on Wednesday rejected a key proposal that would repeal much of ObamaCare, despite intense pressure from conservatives.

Senators voted 55-45 against an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and give lawmakers two years to come up with a replacement.

The “no” votes should come as no surprise to anyone. They were:

  • Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • Dean Heller (Nev.)
  • John McCain (Ariz.)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Rob Portman (Ohio)

Conservative organizations like FreedomWorks and Heritage Action joined Senator Rand Paul in trying to put pressure on the Senate to come through with a clean repeal.

“Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, and as we move forward in this process, I urge them to join me in supporting a clean repeal of as much of this disastrous law as possible,” Paul ahead of the vote.

FreedomWorks, a conservative outside group, blasted out a “key vote” notice hours ahead of Wednesday’s vote, arguing President Trump would sign a repeal-only bill.

“For more than seven years, Republicans successfully campaigned on ObamaCare repeal. …Grassroots conservative activists are not going to accept excuses if Republicans fail to pass a bill that they have passed once before,” the group said in a notice to members.

Michael Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action, added separately on Wednesday morning that “around 11:30, the Senate will vote on the 2015 repeal bill. It would be a first step towards repeal and all Senators should support it.”

President Trump is indeed ready to sign a repeal-only bill. He was ready to sign an Obamacare-light bill as well. He’s ready to sign anything at all. That’s part of the problem.

As the top Republican he has shown zero leadership on perhaps the most important issue for the people who elected him. His willingness to sign anything provides no boundaries for Republicans in Congress

Simply telling Congress that we won’t sign a healthcare bill that does X or that does not do Y would help them zero in on a target. Personally I don’t think the President really understands or cares about the issue. Condemning Obamacare as a disaster is just a red meat applause line for his rallies. Trump wants to get the “win” but he doesn’t know how to define victory.