Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), currently undergoing treatment for an aggressive type of brain tumor called glioblastoma, is returning home to Arizona for the Christmas holidays and will miss the vote on the Republican tax bill, which is expected to start on Tuesday in the House and then go to the Senate.
According to a report by CBS News, McCain had been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, recovering from side effects caused by his chemotherapy treatment since Wednesday, and left today to return to Arizona.
Many had speculated that McCain was remaining in town in case his vote was needed for the tax bill, but it appears that the bill has sufficient support to pass without him.
The Republicans have only a 52-48 majority in the Senate, a margin that will get one step narrower after Democrat Doug Jones is sworn in to Alabama’s Senate seat at the end of the month. This left the fate of the tax bill far from certain for most of this month, especially with both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) threatening vetoes, and several other Senators wavering.
However, on Friday, negotiations between Republican leadership and the Senators were successful, and both Rubio and Corker are now on board. The joint House-Senate conference committee for the bill released the full text on Friday, and the bill is not expected to undergo any major revision before this week’s votes.
President Donald Trump told reporters that he had spoken to McCain “would come back if we need his vote,” but hopefully that would not be necessary.
"John will come back if we need his vote. He's going through a very tough time," Pres. Trump on Senator McCain and pending tax bill reform vote. pic.twitter.com/a5mJiMbk3M
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 17, 2017
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, posted a message on Twitter, thanking people for their support for her father and saying that they were looking forward to spending Christmas together.
Thank you to everyone for their kind words. My father is doing well and we are all looking forward to spending Christmas together in Arizona. If you’re feeling charitable this Christmas @HeadfortheCure or @NBTStweets to help find a cure for brain cancer is what I recommend. ❤️
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 17, 2017
Our prayers to Senator McCain and his family.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.