Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the podium Friday during a press conference to lavish praise on the three Republican senators who voted against the skinny repeal: Sens. John McCain (R-AL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME).
On McCain, Schumer noted that he and the one-time presidential nominee â€śhave been friends for a very long time, ever since the Gang of Eight, which we put together. And I have not seen a senator who speaks truth to power as strongly, as well, and as frequently as John McCain.â€ť
â€śThe very same courage he showed as a Naval Aviator in Vietnam, he showed last night, and has shown time and time again,â€ť he continued.
Schumer went on to take a feminist tack when praising the other Republican lawmakers who eschewed Trumpâ€™s agenda.
â€śAnd certainly not to be forgotten, of equal praise, are Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski,â€ť he said. â€śThey were amazing. And, women are, in so many instances, stronger than men. They brag less about it, but they are.â€ť
â€śAnd last night sort of proved that. And as somebody who is in a family of strong women, I very much appreciate their strength, their courage, and their dedication to principle, despite the entreaties,â€ť Schumer concluded.
Despite their demoralizing loss on Friday, Senate conservatives are already looking ahead to a new approach that can surpass the crucial 51-vote threshold.
â€śI believe Obamacare will be repealed,â€ť Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told reporters shortly after the 49-51 vote came in. â€śOn the merits, I think we are quite close. I think there are 45 or 46 votes, and I think weâ€™re a few votes away.â€ť
However, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) seemed to imply that the party would shift gears and instead tackle tax reform.
â€śWe have so much work still to do, and the House will continue to focus on issues that are important to the American people,â€ť Ryan said. â€śAt the top of that list is cutting taxes for middle class families and fixing our broken tax code. Iâ€™m glad that members will now take time to hear directly from those they represent and make the case for historic tax reform that we intend to pursue in the fall.â€ť