The Senate on Tuesday voted by the narrowest margin to move forward with its Obamacare repeal push, a significant step for Republicans that still leaves senators searching for an agreement on how best to follow through on a campaign promise that has defined most of the last decade.
Vice President Mike Pence was forced to break a tie as the Senate voted 51-50 to start debate on proposals to change the landmark health-care law. The vote comes after weeks of setbacks for Republicans as party divisions stalled multiple versions of their plans to overhaul the American health-care system.
Passing the motion to proceed does not mean Republicans have a consensus on a bill they can pass. The procedural vote starts a complicated period in which senators will float varying alternatives for reshaping Obamacare.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who have pushed for a bipartisan Obamacare fix, opposed the motion to proceed. The return of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to the Senate on Tuesday after a surgery for a brain tumor meant it took three “no” votes to block the motion.