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tv   Senator Mc Connell Responds to Failure of Health Care Repeal  CSPAN  July 28, 2017 3:01am-3:13am EDT

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objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, this is clearly a disappointing moment. from skyrocketing costs to plummeting choices and collapsing markets, our
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constituents have suffered through an awful lot under obamacare. we thought they deserve better. it's why i and many of my colleagues did as we promised and voted to repeal this failed law. we told our constituents we would vote that way, and when the moment came, when the moment came, most of us did. we kept our commitments. we worked hard, and everybody on this side can certainly attest to the fact that we worked really hard. to try to develop a consensus for a better way forward. and i want to thank everybody in this conference for the endless amount of time that they spent
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trying to achieve a consensus to go forward. i also want to thank the president and the vice president who couldn't have been more involved and more helpful. so yes, this is a disappointment. a disappointment indeed. our friends over in the house, we thank them as well. i regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time. now, i imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. probably pretty happy about all this. but the american people are hurting, and they need relief.
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our friends on the other side decided early on they didn't want to engage with us and in a serious way, a serious way to help those suffering under obamacare. they did everything they could to be prevent the senate from providing a better way forward, including such things as reading amendments for endless amounts of time, such things as holding up nominations for key positions in the administration because they were unhappy that we were trying to find a way to something better than obamacare. so i expect that they are pretty satisfied tonight. i regret to say that they succeeded in that effort. so now i think it's appropriate to ask what are their ideas.
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it would be interesting to see what they suggest as the way forward. for myself, i can say and i think i'm pretty safe in saying for people on this side of the aisle that bailing out insurance companies, bailing out insurance companies with no thought of any kind of reform is not something i want to be part of. and i suspect that not many folks over here are interested in that. but it will be interesting to see what they have in mind. quadrupling down on the failures of obamacare with a single-payer system. we had that vote a little earlier, thanks to the senator from montana.
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almost everybody voted present. apparently, they didn't want to make a decision about whether they were for or against socialized medicine. government takeover of everything. european health care. only four of them weren't afraid to say they didn't think that was a good idea. maybe that's what they want to offer. we will be happy to have that debate with the american people. so it's time for our friend on the other side to tell us what they have in mind, and we'll see how the american people feel about their ideas. so i regret that we're here, but i want to say again i'm proud of the vote i cast tonight.
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it's consistent with what we told the american people we would try to accomplish in four straight elections if they gave us a chance, and i want to thank all of my colleagues on this side of the aisle for everything they did to try to keep that commitment. what we tried to accomplish for the american people was the right thing for the country. and our only regret tonight, our only regret, is that we didn't achieve what we had hoped to accomplish. i think the american people are going to regret that we couldn't find a better way forward.
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and as i said, we look forward to our colleagues on the other side suggesting what they have in mind. so now, mr. president, it's time to move on, and i ask unanimous consent that at 10:00 a.m. on friday, july 28 -- that's tomorrow -- the senate proceed to consideration of calendar number 175, h.r. 2810, the house-passed national defense authorization bill. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. first, let me say it's been a long, long road for both sides. each side had sincere convictions, and we're at this point. so i would suggest -- i want to say three things. first, i would suggest we turn
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the page, we turn -- it's time to turn the page. i would say to my dear friend, the majority leader, we are not celebrating. we are relieved. and millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions, deal with nursing homes and opioids that medicaid paid for. we are relieved, not for ourselves but for the american people. but, as i said, over and over again, obamacare was hardly perfect. it did a lot of good things, but it needs improvement. and i hope one part offing it up that page is that we go -- and i hope that one part of turning that page is that we go back to regular order, work in the
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committees together to improve obamacare. we have good leaders, the senator from tennessee and the senator from washington. the senator from utah, the senator from oregon. they have worked well together in the past. and they can work well together in the future. there are suggestions that we are interested in, that come from members on the other side of the aisle -- the senator from maine, the senator from louisiana. so let's turn the page and work together to improve our health care system, and let's turn the page in another way. all of us were so inspired by the speech and the life of the senator from arizona, and he asked us to go back to regular order, to bring back the senate that some of us who have been
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here a while remember. maybe this can be a moment where we start doing that. both sides will have to give. the blame hardly falls on one side or the other. but if we can take this moment, a solemn moment, and start working this body the way it had always worked until the last decade or so, with both sides to blame for the deterioration, we will do a better job for our country, a better job for this body, a better job for ourselves. and finally, i'm glad that the leader asked us to move to ndaa. we need to do it. i can say on this side of the aisle, we will move expeditiou expeditiously. i know that the senator from rhode island has worked with the senator from arizona on a list of amendments that can be agreed to, and we can finish this bill
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up rather quickly. as i mentioned to the majority leader, there are some other things we can do rather quickly, including moving a whole lot of nominations. so we can work together. our country demands it. every place in every corner of the world -- of the country where we go, the number-one thing we are asked -- and i know this because i've talked to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle -- is can't you guys wok together? let's give it a shot.


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