WASHINGTON (AP) — With Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie, the Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a Republican bill scuttling the Affordable Care Act in a win for the GOP and President Donald Trump.
Sen. John McCain, battling brain cancer, returned to the Senate floor to help his party move ahead on repealing President Barack Obama’s trademark healthcare legislation. He received a standing ovation when he walked in.
The 80-year-old had a visible scar above his left eye after doctors removed a blood clot earlier this month. Days after the surgery, the senator disclosed his diagnosis.
McCain then gave a speech during which he lectured his colleagues on ultra-partisanship.
“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, TV and internet. To hell with them!” he said.
He bemoaned the lack of legislative action in Congress.
“We keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” he said. “That’s an approach that’s been employed by both sides, mandating legislation from the top down without any support from the other side, with all the parliamentary maneuvers that requires. We are getting nothing done, my friends. We are getting nothing done.”
McCain also said he would not vote for the current GOP version of the repeal and replace bill.
“I will not vote for this bill as it is today,” he said. “It’s a shell of a bill right now.”
This story will be updated as more details become available.
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