McConnell Puts Off Health Care Vote After McCain Surgery


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s deferring consideration of the GOP health care measure.

McConnell of Kentucky, who unveiled the revised Republican health care bill last week, had planned to hold a procedural vote on the legislation this coming week.

But Sen. John McCain announced Saturday he would be staying in Arizona following surgery for a blood clot. That put the measure in jeopardy in the closely divided Senate.

McConnell statement

“Elaine and I, along with the entire Senate family, wish John the very best and wish him a speedy recovery,” McConnell said in a statement. “While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act.”

McCain’s absence meant Senate Republicans almost certainly would not have had the 50 votes needed to win a procedural vote this week.

Senate Republicans need 50 votes to clear the procedural hurdle. They hold 52 seats in the chamber, but two senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine — have said they will not vote for the bill.

McCain resting comfortably

McCain, 80, is “resting comfortably” after having a blood clot removed from above his left eye, a statement by an Arizona hospital said Friday.

The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix said in a statement that, following a routine physical, McCain had the 5-centimeter clot removed.

“The senator is resting comfortably at home and is in good condition,” the statement read. “Mayo Clinic doctors report that the surgery went ‘very well’ and he is in good spirits.”

McCain’s Senate office said in a statement that he “is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home (in Arizona) with his family.”

His doctors advised McCain to spend next week recovering from the procedure, the statement said.

McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, was elected to the Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2008, losing to Barack Obama.

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