In announcing his opposition to the bill, Mr. Moran said it âfails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health careâs rising costs.â
âThere are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it,â he said in a statement.
In his own statement, Mr. Lee said of the bill, âIn addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesnât go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.â
By defecting together, Mr. Moran and Mr. Lee ensured that no one senator would be the definitive ânoâ vote.
House Republicans, after their own fits and starts, passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act in May, a difficult vote that was supposed to set the stage for quick Senate action. But with conservative and moderate Republicans so far apart in the Senate, the gulf proved impossible to bridge. Conservatives wanted the Affordable Care Act eradicated, but moderates worried intensely about the effects that would have on their most vulnerable citizens.
The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, responded to the announcement on Monday by urging his Republican colleagues to begin anew and, this time, undertake a bipartisan effort.