President Donald Trump wished GOP Sen. John McCain a speedy recovery during an event at the White House Monday, noting that Republicans need his vote to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he was postponing the vote on the motion to proceed on the Better Care Reconciliation Act — which was slated to take place this week — to allow time for McCain to recover from surgery removing a blood clot.
“I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon because we miss him — he’s a crusty voice in Washington,” Trump said, according to the pool report. “Plus, we need his vote.”
Trump blasted the Affordable Care Act, saying “every single element of it is bad” and asserting it would be replaced with “something that is going to be outstanding.”
“We’re going to get that done,” he said. “And I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”
McCain had a “5-cm blood clot” removed “during a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision,” according to a statement from his office.
“Sen. McCain received excellent treatment at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, and appreciates the tremendous professionalism and care by its doctors and staff. He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family,” the statement reads. “On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week.”
While GOP lawmakers are hopeful he will be able to return for a vote next week, The New York Times reports McConnell may have to further delay the vote to allow the Arizona senator more time to recover.
“Usually, a blood clot in this area would be a very concerning issue,” Dr. Nrupen Baxi, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, told the NYT. “The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks.”
According to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — a close confidant of McCain — the senator is eager to get back to work.
“He needs to wait a week he wants to come back so bad he can’t stand it,” he said after a phone call with the Arizona Republican. “I think they don’t want him to fly for a week. I think he’d walk back here if they’d let him.”