Meet the GOP senators who flip-flopped on Obamacare repeal

On Wednesday, the GOP-controlled Senate failed to pass a straight repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay.  The measure failed with a 45-55 vote.  Seven Republicans voted against the repeal: Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, John McCain, R-Ariz., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Lisa Murkowski, R-AK., Rob Portman, R-OH, and Susan Collins, R-ME.

Of those seven, Collins is the only one who did not vote for repeal in 2015.

According to Breitbart:

Conservative activists previously branded Sens. Murkowski, Portman, and Capito “traitors” for betraying their promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare.

Conservative activist groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks urged Republican senators to vote for Sen. Paul’s clean Obamacare repeal bill. Ken Cuccinelli of the Senate Conservative Fund recently suggested that his group might primary faux-Republicans such as Capito, Portman, and Murkowski.

Senator Paul wrote in an exclusive op-ed for Breitbart News, “That’s a good question. I say yes, but I tell you this – it’s hard to say yes if we can’t do something as simple as keeping our word. As simple as voting today how we voted before when we were asking to be in charge. If you tell people you’re going to do something, do it. It’s just that simple. Let’s repeal Obamacare.”

After his bill failed, Sen. Paul argued, “It’s a victory for conservatives that we did get a vote for a clean repeal.”

These same senators have also promised to repeal Obamacare and publicly pledged to do so on the campaign trail and in the halls of the Senate, Breitbart said, adding:

  • Lamar Alexander, “The wisest course is to repeal Obamacare and replace it step by step with solutions that lower health care costs.”
  • Shelley Moore Capito, “I have consistently voted to repeal and replace this disastrous health care law, and I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”
  • Dean Heller,“This DC bureaucrat-driven healthcare system will only result in limited health care choices and higher costs for Nevadans.”
  • Lisa Murkowski, “This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts. I can’t watch premiums for Alaskans shoot up by 30 percent or more each year, see businesses artificially constrained, or see the quality of public education decline.”
  • John McCain, “It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and I will continue fighting on behalf of the people of Arizona to achieve it.”
  • Rob Portman, “I’m for repealing this broken law and replacing it with something better that gives patients more choice, decreases costs and increases access to quality, affordable care.”

“Our activists have fought for the better part of a decade, led on by campaign promises and actual votes to repeal Obamacare, to get Republican majorities in the House and Senate, as well as a Republican in the White House. Sens. Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, and Lamar Alexander each voted for the very same bill in 2015. We now know that these six senators are Obamacare repeal frauds. Even though we’re still wondering if Sen. Susan Collins is in the right party, at least she was consistent with her vote,” said FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning condemned the flip-flopping senators for Wednesday’s vote:

It is sad to see six Republican Senators, John McCain, Shelley Moore Capito, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman and Lamar Alexander who voted in 2015 to repeal most of Obamacare have now decided to change their votes when it actually mattered and there’s a president in the White House who wanted to sign the bill. This betrayal of their constituents’ trust threatens to leave the failed Obamacare system in place.

This is outright fraud. These senators have repeatedly lied to the American people about where they stood on one of the signature issues facing the nation.

Obamacare has failed. Premiums are higher than ever and the options on insurance marketplaces are dwindling. In the meantime, the employer mandates still create a disincentive against hiring full-time employees and Medicaid expansion is bankrupting state budgets.

“The American people have become all too accustomed to politicians who say one thing and do another,” Manning said in conclusion. “The Senate Six have proven that the public’s cynicism about politicians is well-placed, for if they had just kept word, Obamacare would be history. The days ahead will prove whether the GOP majority in the Senate is able to keep their election promises. If they fail, fantasies of a 60-vote Republican Senate will be replaced by fears of a Democrat majority.”

McCain, one of the lying flip-floppers who voted against repeal, had earlier castigated outspoken conservatives.

“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television and internet,” he said in a Senate floor speech. “To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good.”

No, Sen. McCain. After Wednesday’s vote, to hell with you.  And to hell with the other lying flip-floppers who just voted to keep Americans broke and under the iron fist of Obamacare.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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