Speed Reads

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Mitch McConnell urges Republicans not to give up after health-care bill crashes and burns

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) mourned his failed health-care plan. "I regret that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failures of ObamaCare will not be successful," McConnell said, after he enumerated the shortcomings of ObamaCare. Senate Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare sputtered to its death Monday night after two more GOP senators, Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kan.), came out against it.

However, McConnell insisted that his plan's failure to get enough support to move forward does not mean that Republicans "should give up." "We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief from ObamaCare," McConnell said.

He explained that "in the coming days" the Senate will vote on a repeal of ObamaCare "combined with a stable, two-year transition period as we work toward patient-centered health care." McConnell noted this was the same repeal legislation that the Senate voted for in 2015, but that former President Barack Obama then vetoed.

McConnell also snuck in a scolding of his Senate Democratic colleagues for deciding "early on that they did not want to engage with us seriously." "I imagine many Democrats were celebrating last night. I hope they consider what they are celebrating," McConnell said, making clear this failure "doesn't have to be the end of the story."

He assured Democrats that voting for a straight repeal of ObamaCare would offer them the "bipartisan solutions" they've been wanting, by creating an "opportunity for senators of all parties to engage with a fresh start."

Catch a snippet of McConnell's speech below. Becca Stanek