On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate floor to cast his vote in a pivotal moment for the Affordable Care Act. Following surgery to treat a blood clot discovered in his brain, McCain was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix earlier last week.
With surgery scars visible above his left eye, McCain was met by a standing ovation as he took the floor to participate in the Senate's procedural health care vote. Though McCain cast his vote in favor of advancing the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he also admonished both parties for their lack of bipartisan efforts in recent months.
“We’re getting nothing done my friends. We’re getting nothing done,” he said during his address to the Senate.
Following the outpouring of support from his colleagues and constituents, McCain called for restoring regular order and casting aside sentiments of partisanship, even though he cast the deciding vote to move forward with legislation that was being written on the fly.
But he also took a shot at President Donald Trump: “We are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equals.”
Prior to the vote, President Donald Trump tweeted that “Any senator who votes against starting the debate is telling American that you are fine w/ the OCareNightmare!”
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkwoski of Alaska both voted agains the motion to proceed, along with all the Senate Democrats and independents. Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 tie so the bill could move forward.
With the motion to proceed green-lighted, debate now will begin, although even senators appear to not know details about what legislation they are discussing.
McCain’s office announced that he will remain in Washington for the next few days before returning to Arizona to recover and receive further treatment.