Tuesday afternoon, the Senate will vote on the first step to repealing Obamacare — opening floor debate.

The vote is merely on a motion to proceed (MTP) in order to begin debate on repeal. So far, Senate Republicans haven’t had enough votes to begin floor debate on any variation of health care reform legislation.

Senator Lee (R-UT) made a last minute decision to vote to begin debate, leaving Sens Murkowski and Collins as the motion’s only Republican dissenters:

With 50 Republican Senators voting for the MTP, Vice President Pence broke the tie, and thus debate will begin. But it’s a long way from debate to passage, so Republicans still have their work cut out for them, regardless, it’s a good first step.

As for the Democrats, this is not likely to bode well in midterms, where Obamacare and its repeal continues to be a huge issue for voters.

Monday, President Trump called on Republican Senators to make good on their promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare. “The American people have waited long enough, there’s been enough talk and no action, now is the time for action,” he said.

The White House released the following statement yesterday, urging Senators to support the ACHA and the Senate Amendments, the BCRA:

The Administration urges all Senators to support the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.
For months, the Administration has supported multiple bills that repeal central parts of Obamacare and include replacement provisions, such as market stability funding and an expansion of Health Savings Accounts. These bills include H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, and the Senate amendment to H.R. 1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Both pieces of legislation fulfill President Trump’s promise to provide relief to Americans suffering from the failures of Obamacare and to transition to a better healthcare system by taking power out of Washington and returning it to the States and to families.

H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which passed both chambers in 2015, outlines yet another path to providing relief from Obamacare. This bill repeals Obamacare’s damaging individual and employer mandate penalties and its tax increases, while providing a reasonable transition period for the Congress to enact patient-centered healthcare. The Administration supports H.R. 3762 as a first step in a multi-step repeal-and- replace process.

As Obamacare exchanges continue a collapse that began years ago, the Administration firmly believes that inaction on healthcare reform is not an option.

The Administration strongly encourages all Senators to support the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1628 and to move forward on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with true reforms that expand choice and lower costs.

Arizona’s Senior Senator, John McCain, returned to the Senate in order to cast his vote. Sen. McCain recently underwent brain surgery and was then diagnosed with brain cancer.

Sen. McCain entered Senate Chambers to a standing ovation:

But you can listen to us. Because we’re not bombastic:

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