U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (3rd R) speaks at a press conference after voting on Capitol in Washington D.C., the United States, on July 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Ting Shen)
WASHINGTON, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 51-50 to begin a debate on proposals to end Obamacare, as Republicans rallied again to fulfill their seven-year-long promise.
Senate Republicans carried out the procedural vote after receiving two crucial votes from Senator John McCain, who appeared despite a recent surgery to remove a brain tumor, and Vice President Mike Pence, who cast the tiebreaking vote.
The victory enables Senate Republicans to discuss in the next few days, on the Senate floor, proposals to replace Obamacare, formally named the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or amendments to the ACA.
It is unclear what proposals the Republicans will bring to the floor for debate and vote.
"Now we move forward towards truly great health care for the American people," U.S. President Donald Trump said in a press conference at the White House, hailing the vote as a "big step."
Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, urged Republicans before the vote to "turn back before it's too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly in ways from which they will never, never recover."
According to media reports, Senate Republicans may roll out three proposals for debate and vote, which are "repeal and replace," "partial repeal" and a "skinny repeal."
The Senate voted Tuesday evening 43-57 against Republicans' first proposal.
Analysts believe that the "skinny repeal" proposal, which only would strike the most disliked parts of the ACA but keep the rest intact, has the best chance of passing the Senate.