As we previously stated, the Republicans are divided. They have an internal division between conservatives and moderates within the GOP. It is a division that cannot be ignored, and a division that the GOP leadership did not consider on repealing and replacing the ACA.
A key vote killed ACA repeal efforts came when the GOP leadership voted on what is known as the skinny repeal. John McCain, of Arizona, voted no and was joined by two other senators in ensuring the defeat of the bill.
The final vote was 49-51. Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine joined McCain in voting no.
The amendment was a last resort for Senate Republicans to pass something — anything — to trigger negotiations with the House.
"It's time to tun the page," said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York. "We are not celebrating. We are relieved." Associated Press
Therefore, it appears that the GOP needs to recalculate its positions regarding legislation and its agenda. In the Senate, at least, a major piece of legislation will not pass unless there is Democratic cooperation. The political divisions between the GOP and the Democrats have to be bridged order to accomplish any major goal.
Congress is designed to be a deliberative body, the Senate works on the concepts of debate and compromise. Without that debate and compromise process, legislation will fail. This debate and compromise process is based on bipartisan cooperation. It is obvious that the GOP cannot pass any legislation without cooperation from Democrats.
Moreover, we have a president who has the inability to bridge those gaps to ensure passage of key legislation such as this.
It is time for the GOP to retool their strategy. If they refuse, they will face future failures on their agenda.
The bottom line: Republicans have to engage Democrats.