McCain says he won't vote for Graham-Cassidy bill

John McCain
Sen. John McCain said Friday that he won't support the GOP's latest ACA repeal and replacement bill. (Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The prospects for the GOP’s latest legislative attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act just got a lot bleaker.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday that he won’t vote for the bill championed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., citing problems with the process more than the substance of the legislation.

“I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment,” McCain said in a statement. “But that has not been the case. Instead, the specter of the Sept. 30 budget reconciliation deadline has hung over this entire process.”

RELATED: Graham-Cassidy bill's pre-existing condition protections an 'empty promise,' experts say

McCain’s announcement comes on the heels of a report from the Associated Press that Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is “leaning against” the bill. Both Collins and McCain—along with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski—voted against Republicans’ most recent ACA repeal attempt. McCain announced his opposition to that bill in dramatic fashion by giving a thumbs-down on the Senate floor during an early morning vote on July 28.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill, and with Republicans able to lose only two votes to pass the measure in the Senate, it appears to have no viable path forward unless one of the senators changes position.

“I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition,” McCain said of his decision on the Graham-Cassidy measure. He also urged lawmakers to consider working together to reform healthcare.

“I hope that in the months ahead, we can join with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to arrive at a compromise solution that is acceptable to most of us, and serves the interests of Americans as best we can,” he said.