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McConnell Delays Obamacare Rollback While McCain Recovers From Surgery

McCain had surgery Friday to address a blood clot

Sen. John McCain says the Trump administration's statements about Syria likely set the stage for the chemical weapons attack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. John McCain says the Trump administration's statements about Syria likely set the stage for the chemical weapons attack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:40 p.m. | Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain is staying in Arizona next week, recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot, which will delay action on rolling back the 2010 health care law.

“Senator McCain received excellent treatment at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, and appreciates the tremendous professionalism and care by its doctors and staff. He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family,” McCain’s office said in a statement. “On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week.”

Following that announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement sending best wishes to the Arizona Republican that also included the news that the health care legislation will be delayed.

“There are few people tougher than my friend John McCain, and I know he’ll be back with us soon. Our thoughts are with Cindy and his family, his staff, and the people of Arizona,” McConnell 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.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, McCain is in good condition and resting at his home. His surgery took place on Friday.

“Following a routine annual physical, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Surgeons successfully removed the 5-cm blood clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision,” the Mayo Clinic said in a statement. “Tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days.”

McCain’s absence from the Capitol would have changed the calculation for the week’s business, because it would have complicated the already tight math for the effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

Two Republican senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine — have already announced their opposition to proceeding to the most version of the health care reconciliation bill. The absence of McCain would mean that a maximum of 49 votes would be available to vote “yes.”

Assuming all Democrats are present, that would be short of the threshold needed to advance until McCain makes his way back to Washington, D.C.

McCain’s Arizona colleague Sen. Jeff Flake was among the lawmakers sending thoughts and prayers to the 80 year-old senior senator.

“I have never known a man more tenacious and resilient than John McCain. I look forward to seeing him back at work soon. In the meantime, Cheryl and I extend our best wishes to John, Cindy and the entire McCain family and pray for his speedy recovery,” Flake said.

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