World Bulletin / News Desk
"We don't have the votes," Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters. "Do not be celebrating losing an opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare, because it's collapsing."
The announcement confirms an anticipated dash to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said he hoped to see a vote on the legislation this week.
Following last Friday's announcement from Senator John McCain that he would not lend his support to the Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest Republican effort appeared dead in the water and it is unclear if McConnell would go ahead with the futile vote.
McCain brought to three the number of Republicans opposed to their party's latest attempt to undo Obamacare, and with Democrats united in opposition the party could only afford to lost two legislators.
President Donald Trump, who has prioritized the passage of legislation to repeal and replace the legislation, took aim at the caucus, telling reporters "we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”
Republicans needed to have the vote before Sunday when Democrats would have been able to carry out a filibuster against the legislation.
But McConnell acknowledged a vote would not happen in time as he told reporters his party has not given up on "changing the American health care system".
He said the focus going forward would be passing tax reform.
Following yet another blow to Republican aspirations, the chamber's ranking Democrat, Chuck Schumer, urged his colleagues to rally together to work on fixing problems in the Affordable Care Act.
"We need bipartisan solutions to lower premium costs and stabilize our healthcare system, and we're ready to get to work," he said in a Facebook post.