Christopher A. Coons

McCain's surprise vote doomed GOP healthcare bill, but did it open the door for Senate bipartisanship?

McCain's surprise vote doomed GOP healthcare bill, but did it open the door for Senate bipartisanship?

At 80, Sen. John McCain has seen plenty. So when Vice President Mike Pence approached his Senate desk after midnight, trying to save the Republican healthcare bill from defeat, McCain found himself again at the center of what mattered.

For 20 minutes they engaged. The Senate was supposed to be voting by now, but the bill’s passage, as Thursday turned to Friday, was suddenly at risk. McCain’s vote had been unknown, but now it was in doubt. The chamber came to a standstill.

Senators milled about, some Republicans stopping by McCain’s desk, others staying away, his longtime ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), always close by.

Then, with Pence having ducked out...

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