By Michael Hernandez
A Republican plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul appears all but dead Friday a prominent Republican announced his opposition to the measure.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," John McCain said in a statement, referring to senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, the authors of the latest legislative effort.
Key to driving his opposition was the lack of regular process, including hearings and debate for the legislation, McCain said.
"Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform," he said.
This marks the second time McCain has derailed his party's efforts to fulfill its nearly decade-long pledge to wipe out "Obamacare". In July, his opposition led to the first Senate attempt falling short of the necessary 50 votes for passage.
This time, McCain is again joined by two other Republicans -- Senators Rand Paul and Susan Collins -- making the latest attempt appear dead in the water.
But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants a vote on the floor next week, although it is unclear if he will risk another major embarrassment if he lacks needed votes.
Graham said shortly after McCain's announcement that he would continue to "push forward for state-centric health care vs Washington-knows-best health care".
"My friendship with @SenJohnMcCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is," Graham said on Twitter.
"We press on."
President Donald Trump and his party have led hitherto futile efforts to roll back Obamacare and replace it with a plan of their own.
Trump has repeatedly derided congressional Republicans for failure to get a replacement plan through the legislature.