McCain’s surgery delays Senate vote on healthcare bill
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) leaves a meeting where a new version of a GOP healthcare bill was unveiled to Republican senators at the US Capitol, July 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Islam Times - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the upper chamber will delay consideration of a Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery.
McCain, 80, underwent a medical procedure at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix on Friday to remove a blood clot from above his left eye, his office announced Saturday afternoon. Doctors ordered a week of rest.
The Arizona Republican had said earlier on Saturday that he would be absent in the Senate next week, depriving fellow Republicans of the vote on the healthcare legislation.
Without McCain, Republicans would not have had the 50 votes necessary to advance the bill.
McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative items and "will defer consideration of the Better Care Act" while McCain is recovering.
"Elaine and I, along with the entire Senate family, wish John the very best and wish him a speedy recovery," the Kentucky Republican said in a statement, referring to his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
After weeks of wrangling, Senate Republicans unveiled a revised version of their healthcare bill on Thursday, with GOP leaders planning a vote, or at least a procedural one, in the upcoming week.
Two of the 52 Republicans who control the 100-member Senate - Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky - have already voiced objection to the motion.
Sen. McConnell needs the support of 50 senators to put the bill to a floor debate, making McCain’s vote crucial as all Democrats are opposed to the Republican legislation.
Opponents of the bill could use the extra time to pressure wavering Republican centrists to vote against the measure.
McConnell was forced to put off Senate consideration of Obamacare repeal in late June after it became clear that he lacked the support to advance the bill through the Senate.
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