Republican senators voted Tuesday to more forward on their seven-year pledge to repeal portions of Obamacare, with Vice President Mike Pence issuing the tie-breaking vote to unlock hours of debate to assemble details of a final healthcare bill.
The procedural motion was advanced along party lines by a 50-50 vote, with Pence breaking the tie. All 48 Democrats and two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted no.
The vote was held open while senators waited for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, to arrive on the Senate floor.
The vote begins as much as 20 hours of debate on the House-passed healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act, and a new bill will be swapped in its place.
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