A group of five Republican senators sought to give committees more time to draft an Obamacare replacement plan by offering an amendment that would extend the deadline until March, but those senators caved last night.
Senator Corker's amendment was withdrawn and Republicans proceeded to vote to repeal Obamacare with no replacement in sight.
Worse of all, they voted a little after 1 a.m. Eastern Time last night.
The presiding officer, Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, repeatedly banged his gavel and said the Democrats were out of order because “debate is not allowed during a vote.”
The final vote, which ended just before 1:30 a.m., followed a marathon session in which senators took back-to-back roll call votes on numerous amendments, an arduous exercise known as a vote-a-rama.
Among the amendments offered by Democrats were amendments to protect the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), people with pre-existing conditions, and Medicaid expansion. All of these amendments were rejected.
Now that the resolution that calls for repealing Obamacare has been approved by the Senate, it will head to the House where it will almost certainly be approved.
What happens next is a little less clear. Republican committees in both chambers will have their marching orders to begin the process of repealing Obamacare, but there's still no indication that they have any idea how to do that.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan continues to insist that Obamacare will be repealed and replaced at the same time, but no replacement plan has materialized yet and I don't think we can expect to see a plan materialize in just the next couple months.
The two most likely scenarios at the moment are full repeal of the law with no replacement, or no repeal.