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7 tricks for getting gas for less

Don't let the price at the pump get you down. These seven tips can save you as much as $11 a fill up.

With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, every trip to the gas station is a pain in the wallet. And that's just for the commute, forget about road trips. That's no reason to stay home, though. There are lots of ways to saveon the amount of fuel your car uses (obeying the speed limit, keeping your car tuned). And lots of ways to save at the pump. From high-tech helpers like websites and apps to why you can now use green instead of plastic to cut down on your gas bill, these seven strategies will help you cut down on gas prices and get you out on the road.

Track Gas Prices Across the Country

Fuel prices across the country can differ by as much as 25 percent. Before even planning your vacation, check out the GasBuddy's Heat Map, where you'll see just how stark the difference can be. A trip that starts in St. Louis and passes through the Ozarks, Memphis, and southern Kentucky will see fuel prices averaging $3.00 per gallon. Head north instead to Madison, WI, Chicago, and Michigan beaches, and you'll be shelling out upwards of $3.70.
The Savings: $11 per tank*

Get Out of Town

It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes driving further to find gas actually saves you money. Some Americans in border states actually drive to Mexico to fill up their tank, thanks to government-regulated prices. Going to another country is a bit drastic, but sometimes it pays to leave the city limits. Filling your tank near downtown Seattle might run upwards of $4.00 per gallon, for example, whereas just 20 miles down the freeway you'll find plenty of stations charging $3.50 or less. This strategy's a no-brainer, especially if you're already heading out of town.
The Savings: $8.50 per tank*

Go Low Octane

Unless your car specifically requires high octane fuel, you may not need to spring for the additives. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual before pumping the high-grade—as long as premium gas is "recommended" but not "required," your car probably won't experience any (noticeable) performance hiccups. And with spreads between regular and premium gas running $.20 and $.40 per gallon these days, savings add up fast.
The Savings: $6.80 per tank*

Get the App for That

When driving through unfamiliar territory, mobile apps can be your best friend. The iGasUp app ($0.99) lists ten stations nearby with the least expensive gas, along with driving distances and directions for how to reach them. If you're planning to fuel up later, you can search by zip code. The prices are constantly updated and entries are time-stamped for the more than 110,000 stations in the app's system.
The Savings: $6 per tank*

Sign Up for Credit Cards that Give you Cash Back

A growing number of credit cards offer cash back for gas purchases, but keep your eye out especially for those that award cash year round as opposed to during specific quarters. American Express Blue Cash Everydayhas no annual fee and is one of the few programs that'll refund 2 percent of all your gas purchases, regardless of when and where. Discover's Open Road card gives you a 2% cash back bonus on the first $250 you spend on gas and dining per month (there's also no annual fee). Cards affiliated with particular gas companies also offer savings. Get a Visa with BP and get a $.15 rebate per gallon for every $100 you spend at BP. Shell'sDrive for Five card through Citibank saves you $.05 per gallon (up to 100 gallons) when you buy at least 45 gallons of Shell gas per month. Just be sure to read the fine print, and make sure there are enough branches in your area to justify the commitment.
The Savings: $3.00 per tank*

Get Perks from Membership Clubs and Grocery Stores

Membership clubs like Costco and Sam's Club around the country entice shoppers with branded stations pumping cheaper gas—usually about $.10 per gallon less than other stations in the area. Whether or not this actually saves you money once you factor in the $50-$100 annual fee depends on how much you drive. Experts caution you need to drive well above the national average of 12,000 miles per year to come out ahead (not taking into account member savings on bulk mayo and paper towels). If you're wary of annual dues, local grocery store chains like Price Chopper and Kroger have their own free rewards programs, which typically grant "points" for store purchases that can later be applied towards gas. At Kroger, you can earn 1 fuel point per dollar spent at the store, with 100 fuel points earing you $.10 off per gallon at the store's gas pumps and participating Shell stations. Giant Eagle, which has locations in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, has afuelperks program that gives you $.10 off per gallon when you spend $50 on groceries.
The Savings: $2.50 per tank*

Pay Cash

It's widely known that merchants pay a fee to the credit card companies every time a customer uses a card to make a purchase. So basically, the store makes less money if you use a card than if you paid cash. This was the price of doing business, until an anti-trust case made it possible for stores to charge less if you paid cash-and gas station owners pounced. Now you can see signs that list two prices-cash or credit/debit-and signs advertising the Cash Price. While savings vary depending on the station, discounts can run upwards of $.05 to $.10 per gallon or more. Independent stores were the first to start offering the dual pricing, but chains are getting in on the action as well and typically offer the cash price if you are using their credit card.
The Savings: $1.50 per tank*

*Calculated savings based on a tank size of 17 gallons

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The Latest News Headlines

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  • President Trump spoke to a group of Boy Scouts Monday evening in West Virginia. Here is the transcript of that speech. TRUMP: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. I am thrilled to be here. Thrilled. (APPLAUSE) And if you think that was an easy trip, you're wrong. But I am thrilled. (LAUGHTER) 19th Boy Scout Jamboree, wow, and to address such a tremendous group. Boy, you have a lot of people here. The press will say it's about 200 people. (LAUGHTER) It looks like about 45,000 people. You set a record today. (APPLAUSE) You set a record. That's a great honor, believe me. Tonight we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. you've been hearing about with the fake news and all of that. We're going to put that... (APPLAUSE) We're going to put that aside. And instead we're going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams, what to think of, what I've been thinking about. You want to achieve your dreams, I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts? Right? (APPLAUSE) There are many great honors that come with the job of being president of the United States. But looking out at this incredible gathering of mostly young patriots. Mostly young. I'm especially proud to speak to you as the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. (APPLAUSE) CROWD: USA! USA! USA! TRUMP: You are the young people of character, integrity who will serve as leaders of our communities and uphold the sacred values of our nation. I want to thank Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson, chief Scout executive Michael Surbaugh, Jamboree Chairman Ralph de la Vega and the thousands of volunteers who made this a life-changing experience for all of you. And when they asked me to be here, I said absolutely yes. (APPLAUSE) Finally -- and we can't forgot these people -- I especially want to salute the moms and the dads and troop leaders who are here tonight. (APPLAUSE) Thank you for making scouting possible. Thank you, mom and dad, troop leaders. When you volunteer for the Boy Scouts you are not only shaping young lives, you are shaping the future of America. (APPLAUSE) The United States has no better citizens than its Boy Scouts. (APPLAUSE) No better. (APPLAUSE) The values, traditions and skills you learn here will serve you throughout your lives. And just as importantly, they will serve your families, your cities, and in the future and in the present will serve your country. (APPLAUSE) The Scouts believe in putting America first. (APPLAUSE) You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp, and it's not a good place. In fact, today, I said we ought to change it from the word 'swamp' to the word 'cesspool' or perhaps to the word 'sewer.' (APPLAUSE) But it's not good. Not good. And I see what's going on. And believe me, I'd much rather be with you, that I can tell you. (APPLAUSE) I'll tell you the reason that I love this, and the reason that I really wanted to be here, is because as president, I rely on former Boy Scouts every single day. And so do the American people. It's amazing how many Boy Scouts we have at the highest level of our great government. Many of my top advisers in the White House were Scouts. Ten members of my cabinet were Scouts. Can you believe that? Ten. (APPLAUSE) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not only a Boy Scout, he is your former national president. (APPLAUSE) The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence -- a good guy -- was a Scout, and it meant so much to him. (APPLAUSE) Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important. And by the way, where are our Indiana scouts tonight? (APPLAUSE) I wonder if the television cameras will follow you? They don't doing that when they see these massive crowds. They don't like doing that. Hi, folks. (APPLAUSE) There's a lot of love in this big, beautiful place. A lot of love. And a lot of love for our country. And a lot of love for our country. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is here tonight. Come here, Ryan. (APPLAUSE) Ryan is an Eagle Scout from Big Sky Country in Montana. (APPLAUSE) Pretty good. And by the way, he is doing a fantastic job. He makes sure that we leave our national parks and federal lands better than we found them in the best scouting tradition. So thank you very much, Ryan. (APPLAUSE) Secretary of Energy Rick Perry of Texas, an Eagle Scout from the great state. (APPLAUSE) The first time he came to the National Jamboree was in 1964. He was very young then. And Rick told me just a little while ago, it totally changed his life. So, Rick, thank you very much for being here. And we're doing -- we're doing a lot with energy. (APPLAUSE) And very soon, Rick, we will be an energy exporter. Isn't that nice? An energy exporter. (APPLAUSE) In other words, we'll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe. So that's good. (APPLAUSE) We will be energy dominant. And I'll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise. We are going on and on. So we love West Virginia. We want to thank you. Where's West Virginia by the way? (APPLAUSE) Thank you. Secretary Tom Price is also here today. Dr. Price still lives the Scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of Health and Human Services. And he's doing a great job. And hopefully he's going to gets the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that's really hurting us. (APPLAUSE) CROWD: USA! USA! USA! TRUMP: By the way, are you going to get the votes? He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better. Otherwise I'll say, 'Tom, you're fired.' I'll get somebody. (APPLAUSE) He better get Senator Capito to vote for it. He better get the other senators to vote for it. It's time. You know, after seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare we have a chance to now do it. They better do it. Hopefully they'll do it. As we can see just by looking at our government, in America, Scouts lead the way. And another thing I've noticed -- and I've noticed it all my life -- there is a tremendous spirit with being a Scout, more so than almost anything I can think of. So whatever is going on, keep doing it. It's incredible to watch, believe me. (APPLAUSE) Each of these leaders will tell that you their road to American success -- and you have to understand -- their American success, and they are a great, great story, was paved with the patriotic American values and traditions they learned in the Boy Scouts. And some day, many years from now, when you look back on all of the adventures in your lives you will be able to say the same, I got my start as a Scout, just like these incredibly great people that are doing such a good job for our country. So that's going to happen. (APPLAUSE) Boy Scout values are American values. And great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans. (APPLAUSE) As the Scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal -- we could use some more loyalty I will tell that you that. (CROWD CHANTING) That was very impressive. You've heard that before. But here you learn the rewards of hard work and perseverance, never, ever give up. Never quit. Persevere. Never, ever quit. You learn the satisfaction of building a roaring campfire, reaching a mountain summit or earning a merit badge after mastering a certain skill. There's no better feeling than an achievement that you've earned with your own sweat, tears, resolve, hard work. There's nothing like it. Do you agree with that? (APPLAUSE) I'm waving to people back there so small I can't even see them. Man, this is a lot of people. Turn those cameras back there, please. That is so incredible. By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible massive crowd, record setting, is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero? (APPLAUSE) The fake media will say, 'President Trump spoke' -- you know what is -- 'President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.' That's some -- that is some crowd. Fake media. Fake news. Thank you. And I'm honored by that. By the way, all of you people that can't even see you, so thank you. I hope you can hear. Through scouting you also learned to believe in yourself -- so important -- to have confidence in your ability and to take responsibility for your own life. When you face down new challenges -- and you will have plenty of them -- develop talents you never thought possible, and lead your teammates through daring trials, you discover that you can handle anything. And you learn it by being a Scout. It's great. (APPLAUSE) You can do anything. You can be anything you want to be. But in order to succeed, you must find out what you love to do. You have to find your passion, no matter what they tell you. If you don't -- I love you too. I don't know. Nice guy. (APPLAUSE) Hey, what am I going to do? He sounds like a nice person. He -- he, he, he. I do. I do love you. (CROWD CHANTING) By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree? (APPLAUSE) And we'll be back. We'll be back. The answer is no. But we'll be back. In life, in order to be successful -- and you people are well on the road to success -- you have to find out what makes you excited, what makes you want to get up each morning and go to work? You have to find it. If you love what you do and dedicate yourself to your work, then you will gain momentum? And look, you have to. You need the word 'momentum.' You will gain that momentum. And each success will create another success. The word 'momentum.' I'll tell you a story that's very interesting for me. When I was young there was a man named William Levitt. You have some here. You have some in different states. Anybody ever hear of Levittown? (APPLAUSE) And he was a very successful man, became unbelievable -- he was a home builder, became an unbelievable success, and got more and more successful. And he'd build homes, and at night he'd go to these major sites with teams of people, and he'd scour the sites for nails, and sawdust and small pieces of wood, and they cleaned the site, so when the workers came in the next morning, the sites would be spotless and clean, and he did it properly. And he did this for 20 years, and then he was offered a lot of money for his company, and he sold his company, for a tremendous amount of money, at the time especially. This is a long time ago. Sold his company for a tremendous amount of money. And he went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life. I won't go any more than that, because you're Boy Scouts so I'm not going to tell you what he did. (CROWD CHANTING) Should I tell you? Should I tell you? (APPLAUSE) You're Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life. So look at you. Who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right? So he had a very, very interesting life, and the company that bought his company was a big conglomerate, and they didn't know anything about building homes, and they didn't know anything about picking up the nails and the sawdust and selling it, and the scraps of wood. This was a big conglomerate based in New York City. And after about a 10-year period, there were losing a lot with it. It didn't mean anything to them. And they couldn't sell it. So they called William Levitt up, and they said, would you like to buy back your company, and he said, yes, I would. He so badly wanted it. He got bored with this life of yachts, and sailing, and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places. You won't get bored, right? You know, truthfully, you're workers. You'll get bored too, believe me. Of course having a few good years like that isn't so bad. But what happened is he bought back his company, and he bought back a lot of empty land, and he worked hard at getting zoning, and he worked hard on starting to develop, and in the end he failed, and he failed badly, lost all of his money. He went personally bankrupt, and he was now much older. And I saw him at a cocktail party. And it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party. It was the party of Steve Ross -- Steve Ross, who was one of the great people. He came up and discovered, really founded Time Warner, and he was a great guy. He had a lot of successful people at the party. And I was doing well, so I got invited to the party. I was very young. And I go in, but I'm in the real estate business, and I see a hundred people, some of whom I recognize, and they're big in the entertainment business. And I see sitting in the corner was a little old man who was all by himself. Nobody was talking to him. I immediately recognized that that man was the once great William Levitt, of Levittown, and I immediately went over. I wanted to talk to him more than the Hollywood, show business, communications people. So I went over and talked to him, and I said, 'Mr. Levitt, I'm Donald Trump.' He said, 'I know.' I said, 'Mr. Levitt, how are you doing?' He goes, 'Not well, not well at all.' And I knew that. But he said, 'Not well at all.' And he explained what was happening and how bad it's been and how hard it's been. And I said, 'What exactly happened? Why did this happen to you? You're one of the greats ever in our industry. Why did this happen to you?' And he said, 'Donald, I lost my momentum. I lost my momentum.' A word you never hear when you're talking about success when some of these guys that never made 10 cents, they're on television giving you things about how you're going to be successful, and the only thing they ever did was a book and a tape. But I tell you -- I'll tell you, it was very sad, and I never forgot that moment. And I thought about it, and it's exactly true. He lost his momentum, meaning he took this period of time off, long, years, and then when he got back, he didn't have that same momentum. In life, I always tell this to people, you have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum. And if you don't have it, that's OK. Because you're going to go on, and you're going to learn and you're going to do things that are great. But you have to know about the word 'momentum.' But the big thing, never quit, never give up; do something you love. When you do something you love as a Scout, I see that you love it. But when you do something that you love, you'll never fail. What you're going to do is give it a shot again and again and again. You're ultimately going to be successful. And remember this, you're not working. Because when you're doing something that you love, like I do -- of course I love my business, but this is a little bit different. Who thought this was going to happen. We're, you know, having a good time. We're doing a good job. (APPLAUSE) Doing a good job. But when you do something that you love, remember this, it's not work. So you'll work 24/7. You're going to work all the time. And at the end of the year you're not really working. You don't think of it as work. When you're not doing something that you like or when you're forced into do something that you really don't like, that's called work, and it's hard work, and tedious work. So as much as you can do something that you love, work hard and never ever give up, and you're going to be tremendously successful, tremendously successful. (APPLAUSE) Now, with that, I have to tell you our economy is doing great. Our stock market has picked up since the election, November 8th -- do we remember that day? Was that a beautiful day? (APPLAUSE) What a day. Do you remember that famous night on television, November 8th where they said, these dishonest people, where they said, there is no path to victory for Donald Trump. They forgot about the forgotten people. By the way, they're not forgetting about the forgotten people anymore. They're going crazy trying to figure it out, but I told them, far too late; it's far too late. But you remember that incredible night with the maps, and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red it was unbelievable. And they didn't know what to say. (APPLAUSE) And you know, we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College. Popular vote is much easier. We have -- because New York, California, Illinois, you have to practically run the East Coast. And we did. We won Florida. We won South Carolina. We won North Carolina. We won Pennsylvania. (APPLAUSE) We won and won. So when they said, there is no way to victory; there is no way to 270. You know I went to Maine four times because it's one vote, and we won. We won. One vote. I went there because I kept hearing we're at 269. But then Wisconsin came in. Many, many years. Michigan came in. (APPLAUSE) So -- and we worked hard there. You know, my opponent didn't work hard there, because she was told... (BOOING) She was told she was going to win Michigan, and I said, well, wait a minute. The car industry is moving to Mexico. Why is she going to move -- she's there. Why are they allowing it to move? And by the way, do you see those car industry -- do you see what's happening? They're coming back to Michigan. They're coming back to Ohio. They're starting to peel back in. (APPLAUSE) And we go to Wisconsin, now, Wisconsin hadn't been won in many, many years by a Republican. But we go to Wisconsin, and we had tremendous crowds. And I'd leave these massive crowds, I'd say, why are we going to lose this state? The polls, that's also fake news. They're fake polls. But the polls are saying -- but we won Wisconsin. (APPLAUSE) So I have to tell you, what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for make America great again. (APPLAUSE) And I'll tell you what, we are indeed making America great again. CROWD: USA! USA! USA! TRUMP: And I'll tell you what, we are indeed making America great again. What's going on is incredible. (APPLAUSE) We had the best jobs report in 16 years. The stock market on a daily basis is hitting an all-time high. We're going to be bringing back very soon trillions of dollars from companies that can't get their money back into this country, and that money is going to be used to help rebuild America. We're doing things that nobody ever thought was possible, and we've just started. It's just the beginning, believe me. (APPLAUSE) You know, in the Boy Scouts you learn right from wrong, correct? You learn to contribute to your communities, to take pride in your nation, and to seek out opportunities to serve. You pledge to help other people at all times. (APPLAUSE) In the Scout oath, you pledge on your honor to do your best and to do your duty to God and your country. (APPLAUSE) And by the way, under the Trump administration you'll be saying 'Merry Christmas' again when you go shopping, believe me. (APPLAUSE) Merry Christmas. They've been downplaying that little beautiful phrase. You're going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again, folks. (APPLAUSE) But the words 'duty,' 'country' and 'God' are beautiful words. In other words, basically what you're doing is you're pledging to be a great American patriot. (APPLAUSE) For more than a century that is exactly what our Boy Scouts have been. Last year you gave more than 15 million hours of service to helping people in your communities. Incredible. That's an incredible stat. (APPLAUSE) All of you here tonight will contribute more than 100,000 hours of service by the end of this Jamboree -- 100,000. (APPLAUSE) When natural disaster strikes, when people face hardship, when the beauty and glory of our outdoor spaces must be restored and taken care of, America turns to the Boy Scouts because we know that the Boy Scouts never ever, ever let us down. (APPLAUSE) Just like you know you can count on me, we know we can count on you, because we know the values that you live by. (APPLAUSE) Your values are the same values that have always kept America strong, proud and free. And by the way, do you see the billions and billions and billions of additional money that we're putting back into our military? Billions of dollars. (APPLAUSE) New planes, new ships, great equipment for our people that are so great to us. We love our vets. We love our soldiers. And we love our police, by the way. (APPLAUSE) Firemen, police. We love our police. Those are all special people. Uniformed services. Two days ago I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to commission an American aircraft carrier into the fleet of the United States Navy. (APPLAUSE) It's the newest, largest and most advanced aircraft carrier anywhere in the world, and it's named for an Eagle Scout -- the USS Gerald R. Ford. (APPLAUSE) Everywhere it sails that great Scout's name will be feared and revered, because that ship will be a symbol of American power, prestige and strength. (APPLAUSE) Our nation honors President Gerald R. Ford today because he lived his life the scouting way. Boy Scouts celebrate American patriots, especially the brave members of our Armed Forces. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE) Thank you. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) American hearts are warmed every year when we read about Boy Scouts placing thousands and thousands of flags next to veterans' grave sites all across the country. By honoring our heroes, you help to ensure that their memory never, ever dies. You should take great pride in the example you set for every citizen of our country to follow. (APPLAUSE) Generations of American Boy Scouts have sworn the same oath and lived according to the same law. You inherit a noble American tradition. And as you embark on your lives, never cease to be proud of you who you are and the principles you hold dear and stand by. Wear your values as your badge of honor. What you've done few have done before you. What you've done is incredible. What you've done is admired by all. So I want to congratulate you, Boy Scouts. (APPLAUSE) Let your scouting oath guide your path from this day forward. Remember your duty, honor your history, take care of the people God put into your life, and love and cherish your great country. (APPLAUSE) You are very special people. You're special in the lives of America. You're special to me. But if you do what we say, I promise you that you will live scouting's adventure every single day of your life, and you will win, win, win, and help people in doing so. (APPLAUSE) Your lives will have meaning, and purpose and joy. You will become leaders, and you will inspire others to achieve the dreams they once thought were totally impossible. Things that you said could never, ever happen are already happening for you. And if you do these things, and if you refuse to give in to doubt or to fear, then you will help to make America great again, you will be proud of yourself, be proud of the uniform you wear, and be proud of the country you love. (APPLAUSE) CROWD: USA! USA! USA! TRUMP: And never, ever forget, America is proud of you. (APPLAUSE) This is a very, very special occasion for me. I've known so many Scouts over the years. Winners. I've known so many great people. They've been taught so well, and they love the heritage. But this is very special for me. And I just want to end by saying, very importantly, God bless you. God bless the Boy Scouts. God Bless the United States of America. Go out, have a great time in life, compete, and go out and show me that there is nobody, nobody like a Boy Scout. (APPLAUSE) Thank you very much, everybody. (APPLAUSE) Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE) Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Thank you very much (APPLAUSE)
  • With no votes to spare, Vice President Mike Pence used his Constitutional power to cast a tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, allowing Republicans to begin debate on a House-passed GOP bill that would overhaul the Obama health law, as Republicans scrambled to figure out how to cobble together a plan that could be ultimately approved in coming days by the Senate. The narrow victory was a big win for GOP leaders and the White House, as President Donald Trump had repeatedly pressed Republican Senators in recent days to keep their promise to act on Obamacare – but this was only an initial victory. In a speech just before the vote, and after a lengthy closed-door meeting of Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored fellow GOP Senators to stick together, arguing they had promised the American people that they would make dramatic changes to Obamacare. “They didn’t send us here just to do the easy stuff, they expect us to tackle the big problems,” McConnell said. “We can’t let this moment slip by,”McConnell declared. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on health care: 'We can't let this moment slip by' https://t.co/7j5VjUmIM9 — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 25, 2017 Two Republicans voted against the motion to start debate: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). A number of other key GOP moderates voted for debate to begin, but did not guarantee they would support a final product. In the end, the crucial vote was cast by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was just returning to the Capitol for the first time since being diagnosed with brain cancer; also pivotal was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who held his colleagues in suspense by waiting an extended period of time before casting a vote in favor of beginning debate. Johnson though has made clear his frustrations with the process, and with the details of the various GOP plans – it still isn’t clear how GOP leaders will find a solution that satisfies him, and several other Senators who voted to begin the health care debate. Johnson and McConnell spoke for an extended period of time on the Senate floor, mainly just the two of them – while other Senators waited to see what Johnson would decide. Democrats waited until Johnson and McCain had voted to vote; then each Democrat registered their opposition, to reinforce their stance on the GOP effort. Starting debate was difficult – now comes the tougher assignment of putting together a magic formula that can pass the Senate.

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