John McCain to return to Senate for pivotal health care vote

That's forced McConnell to step back twice from anticipated votes and to revise his bill in hopes of mollifying unhappy moderates and conservatives.

President Donald Trump is hailing Sen. The senator had been recuperating from surgery in Arizona. It was not immediately clear when he would return to Washington. John McCain will return to the Senate as Republicans prepare to vote on Obamacare repeal and replacement. However, exactly what legislation lawmakers would be debating remained unclear to many of them late Monday.

Trump, meanwhile, kept up the pressure with a spray of tweets. "And you know, I made an extremely good showing against Senator McCain against all odds". Trump also quipped that he would fire Price if he did not round up enough votes.

"He's not a war hero", Trump said of the Republican senator at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., postponed an earlier vote on the health care bill due to McCain's absence from Washington for surgery to remove a blood clot near his eye.

McCain's absence put the future of the GOP effort to pass a new health care bill in jeopardy because the party can not afford to lose votes.

If the vote fails, Republicans would suffer a significant political setback and embarrassment at being unable to fulfill seven years of campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare - though they likely would try to return to it again in the next 18 months.

"I'm pretty confident we'll get on the bill even without John, " Sen.


In comments highlighting GOP tensions, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said it is "absolutely repugnant" that Republican senators aren't following through on campaign promises to repeal Obama's law.

"Senator McCain and his family have a lot of hard decisions to make".

"We can't wait until the 2018 election waiting around to accomplish the Trump agenda, to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare and fix the economy and fix the veterans administration", she said.

"I'm a doctor. The life expectancy of the American male is not 86".

Speaking of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an Eagle Scout who was on stage with him, Trump said, "Hopefully he's going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this terrible thing known as Obamacare that's really hurting us". Republicans can only lose two votes for a majority without Democrats, and Sen.

Still, the possibility of him leaving was raised in Ward's interview. She's one of a dozen or so senators who have not committed to even voting for the motion to proceed.

Throughout Monday, Senate Republicans offered conflicting statements about McCain appearing for the health-care vote.

"I want to get it on the record that never, never did I say or was the intent behind what I had to say that John McCain should step down and I should take his seat", she said.


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