If the motion had failed, the Republican leadership would have had little choice but to start talks with the Democrats about patching up the Obamacare insurance exchanges and, perhaps, making modest changes to Medicaid. Republicans control the chamber 52-48, meaning they can afford to lose just two Republicans with Mr. McCain around and only one in his absence.
He then took the floor and delivered a speech repudiating the process that he had just seemingly endorsed with his vote, adding that he would not personally support the ACA-related legislative proposals before the Senate unless they are dramatically changed.
That would involve committee hearings and testimony from experts and interested parties, an incremental process that could take months.
“Is it surprising that he would get out of a hospital bed and go to work?”
Debates in the Senate have become “more partisan, more tribal, more of the time than at any time I can remember”, he lamented.
A survey of McCain’s career suggests he has long considered his prime responsibility the securing of his own canonization as a fiercely independent statesman while largely supporting the Republican Party line.
Since the diagnosis, McCain has been showered with tributes from all sides as an American original whose lifetime of public service included years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.
McCain said Monday he will stay in D.C.
McCain’s startling decision to return suggests McConnell believes Tuesday’s vote will be successful – with McCain’s vote.
Many commentators attacked McCain’s paean to regular order for being in direct conflict with his vote to advance a bill that completely avoided it. Trying to explain the arcane and complicated ways in which the Senate cast votes – motion to proceed, motion to recommit, final passage etc. – is a total political loser. “To hell with them!” the feisty McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Senator McCain is right for urging the process to move forward, while clearly recognizing the imperfections of the current GOP bill and the process in which it was drafted. And the “he voted for the health care bill before he voted against it” attack is a very, very potent one. That has to be addressed, said McCain.
President Trump is willing to sign the measure – his predecessor vetoed the first version – yet the idea faces a deficit of support among Republicans, enraging conservatives who note that many sitting GOP senators backed the idea under a Democratic president. Today, on the Senate floor, McCain asserted the Senate’s power to be a check on the power of the president. If the Republicans failed to garner 51 votes to open debate, the whole Obamacare repeal fiasco would have collapsed then and there in an ignominious cough of dust (for now). Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana.
Probably what Americans like about John McCain most of all is that he’s real.
The circumstances of McCain’s return are pretty unbelievable. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, as he returned to the Capitol on Tuesday to vote for moving ahead on legislation to dismantle Obamacare. Kennedy died in August 2009.