Sen. John McCain’s controversial 2017 thumbs-down to an Obamacare repeal and replace bill showcased his unwavering “determination” to vote his conscience despite political pressure, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Sunday.
In remarks on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Collins said “McCain felt very strongly about virtually every issue that he tackled — but it was never based in partisanship.”
Collins recalled that on July 27, 2017, McCain spoke to her and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, before the vote on a GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
“Lisa and I crossed the Senate floor to where John was sitting and we knew that he was struggling with the issue,” she said. “And we sat down and started talking with him. And all of a sudden he pointed to the two of us and said, ‘you two are right.’ And that’s when I knew that he was going to vote no.”
“And at that point I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was Vice President [Mike] Pence, who had been sent to lobby John and make a last ditch appeal,” she continued. “So I stepped aside so that they could have their conversation. But once John McCain made up his mind about something, there was no shaking him.
“And I knew that he would be there on the final vote. And again, it was an example of his determination to do what he thought was right. And that is a quality that marked his entire life.”
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