Breitbart: WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans rushed toward votes next week on their sweeping $1.5 trillion tax package, hopeful ailing Sens. John McCain and Thad Cochran will be back and well enough to cast their votes.
The 81-year-old McCain is at a local military hospital being treated for the side effects of brain cancer treatment. The 80-year-old Cochran had a non-melanoma lesion removed from his nose earlier this week.
Both men missed all Senate votes this week, but their presence will be crucial early next week as the GOP tries to pass the tax bill in the Senate with a razor-thin Republican majority of 52-48 — and all Democrats opposed to the legislation. Adding to the uncertainty on Thursday was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who said he would vote against the bill if negotiators failed to expand the child tax credit.
“My expectation is he’ll be here,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said of McCain. “He’s resting up and so we hope to see him then.”
A Senate Armed Services Committee hearing opened Thursday without McCain in the chairman’s seat and members of the panel unsure when he’d return to Congress.
McCain’s closest friend on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, told reporters that he spoke with McCain’s wife Cindy earlier in the week and said he was optimistic McCain would be back to work soon. But he dismissed the idea McCain should rush his recovery to vote on the GOP tax bill even though the margin for passage of the legislation in the Senate is expected to be slim.
“John, take a little time, rest up. It’s OK to take a day or two off,” Graham said.
McCain didn’t attend a White House ceremony held Tuesday for President Donald Trump to sign the annual defense bill into law. The sweeping policy measure has been a major achievement of McCain’s for years.