Senate GOP secures votes to open debate on health care

(CBS NEWS) The Senate has voted in favor on a motion to proceed, opening up debate on the Senate's health care plan to effectively repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Highlights from the vote:

  • After 50 "no" votes from the Democrats and 50 "yes" votes from Republicans, Vice president breaks the tie
  • Sen. John McCain is welcomed back to Senate with standing ovation, votes yes
  • Protesters scream "kill the bill, don't kill us" disrupting start of vote

The first vote is intended to open debate on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the GOP-sponsored Obamacare replacement plan that passed the House of Representatives in May.

Numerous amendments will now be offered that will dramatically change the nature of the House-passed legislation. Some amendments include a proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, while another could simply repeal the 2010 health care law in its entirety and provide Congress with two years to figure out a replacement health care plan. 

President Donald Trump has publicly pressured Republicans to vote to proceed and find a way to replace Obamacare. 

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