Republicans failed to pass their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday night in a middle-of-the-night showdown that ended with Sen. John McCain breaking away from his party and voting "no." Republicans couldn't lose more than two votes, and McCain was the third voting against the bill, killing it 49-51.
It was a dramatic night: McCain, who is still recovering from brain surgery, returned to Washington to cast an earlier vote that moved the health care debate forward. But when he arrived to cast his vote on Tuesday's "skinny repeal," he cryptically told reporters to "wait for the show."
The final vote didn't happen until nearly 1:30 a.m. Vice President Mike Pence was busily trying to persuade McCain to support the bill, taking him off to chat in a side room. Other Republican senators huddled around Sen. Lisa Murkowksi, trying to convince her to change her mind. Then, showtime! McCain walked onto the Senate floor for his finale:
It was McCain's "Maverick moment," as CNN dubbed it, because McCain has long portrayed himself as the Republican brave enough to speak out against his party if he disagrees with them — even if he usually then votes along party lines.