President Donald Trump took a few seconds during his “Made in America week” speech to compliment (or insult?) Senator John McCain, noting Republicans need his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
We must repeal job-killing Obamacare. We have to do that. And I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon because we miss him. He’s a crusty voice in Washington, plus we need his vote.
The crowd laughed, and Trump said that McCain would be back in D.C. “sooner” than another Senator who had to have sudden surgery might.
This weekend, McCain underwent a sudden surgery at the Mayo Clinic to address a blood clot above his left eye.
This prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay the healthcare vote until McCain returns, because they need every vote they can get to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
McCain is what was considered a definitive “yes” vote to move forward with the healthcare plan (that this vote was delayed because McCain needs healthcare is indeed ironic). Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky are both “no” votes, though for different reasons.
This means that McConnell literally needs McCain’s vote to reach the 50-vote threshold that would allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote.
Yet, unlike most votes undertaken by the body, it appears the leadership doesn’t know what will happen when the bill hits the floor.
“I believe as soon as we have a full contingent of senators, that we’ll have that vote,” Senate majority whip John Cornyn told NBC News, but added “there’s uncertainty about what the final outcome will be.”
Along with Collins and Paul, Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio,, Mike Lee of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake also of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and North Dakota’s John Hoeven are all undecided, at least as far as their public remarks indicate.
While some wonder if this vote will even happen at all, those who’ve watched the Senate since they GOP took over in 2014 know never to count out McConnell.
You can watch the president’s full remarks below:
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