The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to allow an Obamacare replacement bill to be debated on the Senate floor.
In a 51-50 vote that required Vice President Mike Pence to issue a tie-breaking vote, the Senate has allowed H.R. 1628, The American Health Care Act of 2017, to proceed to the floor for debate and amendment.
The bill had originated in the House and was passed in May by a 217-213 vote.
The bill is unlikely to pass without significant modification. Any changes that cannot be considered under reconciliation will force the bill to be passed by a 60 vote margin which would require at least 10 Democrats to vote for it.
All members of the Senate rose to their feet and applauded when Senator John McCain (R-AZ) entered the chamber and voted yes on the motion to proceed.
Sens. Collins and Murkowski were the only two Republicans to vote against the motion to proceed.
Twenty hours of debate will take place before voting begins which puts an up or down on the bill some time in the next week.
Even should the bill pass the Senate, changes will require a conference committee between the House and Senate to resolve differences in their bills. Both Houses will then have to vote on the resultant compromise.