Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

McConnell: Senate Will 'Defer' Vote On Republican Health Care Bill

McConnell: Senate Will 'Defer' Vote On Republican Health Care Bill

In order to proceed, Republicans need 50 votes out of their 52-member Senate majority.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain is staying in Arizona next week recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot.

Senate Republicans unveiled a revised version of their health care bill Thursday, and GOP leaders had planned a vote, or at least to take the procedural steps toward a vote, in the upcoming week. Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie for final passage.

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The Republican senator's absence from the Capitol next week would have complicated the already tight math surrounding a planned Senate health care vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of ME and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already said they will not vote to proceed, making McCain's "yes" vote essential. McConnell can not lose any others for the legislation to survive a showdown vote. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

The Mayo Clinic, which performed the surgery Friday in Phoenix, said the five-centimeter (two-inch) blood clot was "successfully removed" from above his left eye during a "minimally invasive" craniotomy with an eyebrow incision. "Tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days", the statement from the Mayo Clinic read. McCain was reported to be resting comfortably at his home in Arizona.

Mr McCain is a three-time survivor of melanoma. Records of his medical exams released in 2008 when he was the GOP candidate for president showed that he has had precancerous skin lesions removed and had an early stage squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured skin cancer, removed.

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