John McCain comes out against GOP’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill

Sen. John McCain announced Friday that he opposes the Republicans’ last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort, which could almost nearly kill the bill.

The Arizona Republican released a statement about the bill, proposed by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, which would repeal Obamacare’s structure and replace it with block grants for states and it would roll back the 2010 health care law’s Medicaid expansion.

“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. But that has not been the case. Instead, the specter of September 30th budget reconciliation deadline has hung over this entire process,” he said in a statement.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it,” he said. “Without a full CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has also made it clear that he can’t vote for the measure, describing it as “Obamacare lite.” If one more Republican come out against it, it would kill the legislation. It seems likely Maine Sen. Susan Collins could be that “no” vote. “I’m leaning against the bill,” she said at an event in Maine Friday, according to the the Portland Press Herald. “I’m just trying to do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Maine.” Collins is concerned that Graham-Cassidy doesn’t offer adequate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. “The premiums would be so high, they would be unaffordable,” she said. Collins also opposed the previous repeal bill in July.

All Democrats are expected to oppose the bill, which means Republicans need most of their 52-member conference — at least 50 votes — to pass the bill. Vice President Mike Pence can break a tie if necessary.

McCain helped deliver the deciding blow to GOP leadership’s last effort to repeal Obamacare at the end of July, shocking the political world with his thumb’s down. McCain, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer over the summer, delivered a dramatic floor speech the day he returned to the Senate in which he urged members of his own party to return to “regular order” and to seek bipartisan solutions.

McCain had emphasized over the last few weeks that he wanted the Graham-Cassidy measure to go through the regular order that involves reviewing it and marking it up at the committee level.

Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, had endorsed the bill, and it was co-authored by Graham, one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate.

Republicans have been under pressure to rush the bill through because they only have until September 30th to use the budget reconciliation process, which allows certain legislation to pass with 51 votes rather than be subject to a 60-vote hurdle.

“Dreamers” go knocking on doors ahead of Trump’s DACA decision

WOODBRIDGE, Va.¬†—¬†Ahead of President Trump’s Tuesday announcement where he is expected to terminate the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a group of young, undocumented immigrants are trying to rally support and convince others why they should be allowed to stay in the United States.

Siblings Angel, 19, and Jennifer Romero, 20, went door-to-door in the pouring Virginia rain Saturday in order to advocate for DACA, the 2012 executive order penned by the Obama Administration that deferred deportation for two years and granted options for higher education and work permits to undocumented young people in the U.S.

Now five years after DACA’s rollout, the fate of both the program and undocumented families rests with President Trump’s determination of whether DACA should be renewed, relinquished to Congress for a possible permanent legislative fix, or repealed altogether.

The worst option, according to the Romeros, would be any diminishment of DACA.

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This possibility has motivated the Romeros and their fellow canvassers at CASA In Action, an organization that advocates for pro-immigrant policies and politicians, to trek through their neighborhoods and to advocate on behalf of the almost 800,000 “Dreamers” who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children by their parents.

CBS News went along with the Romeros, who came into the U.S. as toddlers from Mexico, and their canvassing companion, Francisco Lasso, 25, originally from Ecuador, as they all rung doorbells and rapped doors to remind their fellow Virginians to vote in the upcoming elections.

While this is their job, the Romeros and Lasso told CBS News the impending decision has created a sense of urgency and has recently motivated them and several other Dreamers to knock on an estimated 10,000 doors.

“As a DACA recipient, I can’t vote but this is my vote per se,” Angel told CBS News. “Going out to canvass, knocking on doors, it is kind of my way of informing people who can vote,” he said.

Jennifer said that a DACA dismissal would mean that all three of the DACA canvassers would lose their jobs.

Lasso told CBS News that his online university studies, which he called “the best opportunity,” would cease alongside the DACA program.

When asked last week if young people like this small group should be worried, the president said, “We love the Dreamers. We love everybody,” and later added, “I think the Dreamers are terrific.”

CBS News asked the Romeros and Lasso what they would say to the president before his ultimate decision.

“Mr. Trump, you’ve said you have a heart, you say you are going to treat this [decision] with heart, this is a chance to share your heart. Prove you have a heart and that you do care,” Angel said.

For Jennifer and Lasso, they said that they would tell the president that their aim is to contribute to this country.

Jennifer said she wants to join the military — specifically, the Marines — and then jumpstart a career as a teacher.

“We are not breaking any rules. We are not doing anything bad,” Lasso asserted. “We are just trying to find our voice and make a better life in this country.”

These canvassers’ calls have been echoed across the political spectrum from the U.S. Conference of Mayors to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Angel said he recognizes that the DACA executive order was a temporary solution to a problem that could plague his whole life. He said he is encouraged by the outpouring of support on Capitol Hill but he hopes that the president will see what he does: his American values.

Soaking wet from an afternoon of door knocking, Angel avowed, “I am an American in every way except for on a piece of paper.”

The Romeros and Lasso said that they plan to travel to the front of the White House on Tuesday before Mr. Trump makes his expected final DACA decision.

Until then, these Dreamers said they will continue to knock on doors — rain or shine.