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McCain to come back to Senate Tuesday

McCain to come back to Senate Tuesday

He stressed the importance of the Senate, issuing what appeared to be a warning to President Donald Trump.

Republicans are holding the high-stakes vote on Tuesday to open debate on legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare". It also averted what would have been a blistering defeat for a party divided between fervent conservatives demanding the evisceration of Obama's statute and centrists intent on not pulling coverage away from millions of Americans.

After noting that the Senate is called the world's most deliberative body, McCain said, "I'm not sure we can claim that distinction with a straight face today".

People with health care problems had speculated on social media how McCain would vote, and his decision disappointed many.

McCain, who announced last week he is suffering from brain cancer, cast a critical vote for the measure, leaving senators evenly split and forcing Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie for a 51-50 final count on allowing debate. Nor did it guarantee success on Tuesday's vote for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is managing a balky GOP caucus with nearly no room for error in the closely divided Senate.

McCain has been a reliably even-keeled voice in an increasingly partisan chamber, a lawmaker whose quick temper has never prevented him from working with Democrats to craft important bipartisan policy.

Senators from both sides of the aisle gave their colleague a standing ovation when he arrived on the floor to cast his vote Tuesday. "We can't let it slip by".

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McConnell had one senator show up each day to gavel the Senate into session and then promptly adjourn until the next day. Appointing a new attorney general would enable the Trump administration to remove Mueller.

Moderate Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, were the only Republicans to defect from their party's quest.

Some Republicans have expressed concern with how the legislation would impact Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and the disabled.

Not a single Democrat backed the effort to overthrow Obama's signature domestic legislative achievement. "Many people understandably would be curled up in bed in the foetal position".

One of the most emphatic rejections came from a group of some 7,000 Catholic nuns, who wrote Senate leaders on Monday to say the bill "would be the most harmful legislation for American families in our lifetimes".

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) went into more graphic detail about McCain's condition, saying that his travel plans hinge on "whether his incision has healed to the extent that he can sit in a pressurized cabin for four hours". "I have pen in hand".

As his tweet made clear, McCain is not just returning to Washington to debate health care.

With support crumbling for all of the Republican health care plans now on the table and senators wary of voting to proceed without knowing what they will proceed to, GOP leaders offered mixed responses to whether their success or failure hinges on flying an octogenarian cancer patient across the country. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the chamber's lead GOP vote-counter, told reporters. Trump also quipped that he would fire Price if he did not round up enough votes. That, too, was encountering problems. "He made a tough trip to get here and vote".