The Senate will delay a vote on the Republican healthcare bill as Senator John McCain is still recovering from a surgery, the media reported. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed the move on Saturday night, reports a news agency. McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative issues and nominations next week and “will defer consideration of the Better Care Act” while McCain is recovering from his surgery.
McCain’s absence would have imperilled the bill, which needs the support of 50 of 52 Republican senators to advance. McCain, 80, is in Arizona after having a blood clot removed from above his left eye, as reported. His office said the clot was discovered during an annual physical and removed Friday at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Senate Republicans unveiled a revised version of their health care bill on Thursday, and party leaders had planned a vote, or at least to take the procedural steps toward a vote which could have taken place as early as Tuesday.
It was unclear how long the delay will be, reports a Daily. “The leader has not announced a date” for the Senate to take up the legislation, said an aide to McConnell.
Meanwhile, two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky — have already said they will not support a motion to proceed to floor debate on the legislation. A number of other Republicans including Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio, have also expressed serious reservations about the bill in its current form.