The Senate voted Tuesday to start debating the long-awaited Republican health care bill. The motion just barely passed, with a 50-50 tie being broken by Vice President Mike Pence in favor of bringing the bill to debate. The move marks a successful step toward the Republicans’ goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare, which they have been trying to achieve for seven years.
New York Democrats have been rallying hard against Republican health care reform and were naturally disappointed with the outcome of Tuesday’s vote. Several took to Twitter to express their frustration, including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I am hard-pressed to remember a vote in the U.S. Senate that has treated the American people with less respect. https://t.co/e3qIG8iAUo— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 25, 2017
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also criticized Republicans, calling the move “outrageous.”
The Senate GOP just voted to move forward with ripping health care away from 1.6 million New Yorkers. Outrageous. https://t.co/QWKATGBGNz— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) July 25, 2017
Governor Cuomo was equally critical, calling the vote “shameful.”
Today's vote in the Senate was not public service. Voting to take healthcare from 23 million Americans is shameful.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 25, 2017
Assemblyman Michael Blake, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was also outspoken on the issue, releasing a statement saying:
“The passage of the motion to proceed by Senate Republicans is a stark reminder that Congressional Republicans are willing to have people lose their health care so that Republicans can win some political points.”
While the left continues to be outraged at the progress of Republican health care reform, Republicans must now figure out what they want to do. Amendments to the current system will be debated and eventually voted on. It remains unclear what the final outcome will be.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer believes a full repeal of Obamacare is next, saying, “A yes vote on the motion to proceed will lead to a conference with the House, which will certainly lead to a full repeal.”
A 'yes' vote on the motion to proceed will lead to a conference with the House, which will certainly lead to a vote on full repeal.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 25, 2017
Nevertheless, Schumer pledged that he’s “not giving up on #healthcare.”
In any case, it will be a busy week at the Capitol.