McConnell delays action on health care after McCain surgery

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky announced Saturday that he was delaying consideration of health care legislation in light of Sen. John McCains absence from recent surgery.

McConnell released a statement on Saturday night saying that he was deferring action on the measure as McCain recovers at his home in Arizona.

“While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,” McConnell said.

Surgeons in Phoenix removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye on Friday. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

A procedural vote expected in the coming days had been cast as a showdown over the measure designed to replace Obamacare once and for all.

With a 52-48 majority, Republicans can afford to only lose two votes. Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie for final passage.

Two Republicans, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, have already said they’ll vote against the measure.

McConnell and other GOP leaders have been urging senators to at least vote in favor of opening debate, which would allow senators to offer amendments. In recent days GOP leaders have expressed optimism that they were getting closer to a version that could pass the Senate.

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