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Health care vote postponed in Senate after McCain’s surgery

By dailymail / Published on Sunday, 16 Jul 2017 04:20 AM / No Comments


Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attends a news conference following party policy lunch meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 11, 2017.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attends a news conference following party policy lunch meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 11, 2017.

Sen. John McCain’s absence from the Senate as he recovers from surgery for a blood clot has led the GOP leadership to postpone consideration of health care legislation already on the brink.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday night he was deferring action on the measure as McCain recovers at his home in Arizona. Surgeons in Phoenix removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye on Friday. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

“While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,” McConnell said in a statement.

A close vote had already been predicted for the GOP health care bill, with all Democrats and independents coming out against it and some Republicans opposed or undecided. With the GOP holding a 52-48 majority, they can afford to lose only two Republicans. Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie for final passage.

Two Republicans, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, have already said they’ll vote against the measure.

A procedural vote expected in the coming days had been cast as a showdown over the measure designed to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law, commonly called Obamacare.

McConnell and other GOP leaders have been urging senators to at least vote in favor of opening debate, which would allow senators to offer amendments. In recent days GOP leaders have expressed optimism that they were getting closer to a version that could pass the Senate.