Republican senators including John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Thursday they want assurances from the House that there will be a conference before voting for a so-called "skinny" bill to repeal Obamacare.
It was a result that may have been hinted at earlier in the week.
The amendment was a last resort for Senate Republicans to pass something - anything - to trigger negotiations with the House.
The next step is floor debate on the legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act even though there aren't any guarantees the votes are there to eventually pass it - and it's unclear what a final bill will look like. But many amendments run afoul of the Senate's Byzantine rules, which mean they can require 60 votes and effectively be blocked by Democrats.
"No Such Thing" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY warned that the passage of a "skinny repeal" alternative is a gambit to get Senate and House Republicans together in talks on a broader replacement plan.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to issue his response. Lindsey Graham of SC.
Then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a contemporary of McCain who had managed to avoid Vietnam service because of a sports injury, acted as their voice and said publicly that McCain knew nothing of sacrifice, that "McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda" - two military hospitals in the Washington area - so he could see in person what others had sacrificed on the battlefield.
But in the face of tremendous political pressure from the party he represented in the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain did the right thing. The former prisoner of war stood stood with Democrats to release a report on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during the Bush years.
George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU United health care Workers East, said that his union is ready to mobilize despite Tuesday's vote in D.C. "Everyone from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin and everyone in between was on the same page".
Additionally, many counties across America have just one health insurer, meaning there is little competition.
There was no immediate response from Graham, McCain or Johnson.
In any given year, insurance companies subsidise the costs of people who use insurance - healthcare, in this case - with payments from the people who don't use it.
"He's not a war hero", Trump told a gathering of religious conservatives. "OK, you can have - I believe perhaps he is a war hero".
"I want to thank Senator John McCain - very fearless man". "Thank you John", Trump tweeted. Reporters and observers in the gallery watched his every movement as he spoke to various senators.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he's looking forward to working with Republicans and getting back to "regular order".
Indeed senators had no clear idea of what they would ultimately be voting on, and in an indication of the uncertainty ahead, McConnell said the Senate will "let the voting take us where it will".
Earlier McCain, 80, received an ovation from his fellow senators when he entered the chamber to cast a vote to open debate. Still, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Congressional Republicans actually set out to save Obamacare, and not a single Democrat was willing to join in the effort.
As their conversation ended, McCain and Pence smiled and patted each other on the back, and McCain walked across the floor to talk with Schumer. If we don't stop them, they'll strip health coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
"Republican leadership, through a reckless and partisan process, came dangerously close to undermining healthcare for millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Granite Staters", she said.