Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the deciding vote that stopped the Obamacare repeal legislation, will return to the U.S. Senate next week after undergoing chemotherapy treatment. There are 52 votes scheduled, which will make for a busy month.
McCain is suffering from a deadly brain cancer known as glioblastoma. While he did complete his first round of chemotherapy, things are not optimistic.
Still, McCain is determined to show up. He chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will mean he will play a critical role in helping pass the National Defense Authorization Act. Unfortunately, that might include a provision that would overturn President Donald Trump’s directive to ban transgendered people from serving in the military. McCain has publicly denounced Trump’s directive, and called a “step in the wrong direction.”
Another issue up for debate is the raising of the debt limit. As Politico reports:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attempted to move to the defense bill after McCain helped sink the Obamacare repeal bill in July, but the move was blocked by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
McCain completed his first round of chemotherapy treatment two weeks ago, his daughter Meghan McCain said earlier this month.
The Senate is expected to consider the NDAA bill as soon as next week, though McConnell has made no formal announcement. Congress must also fund the government past Sept. 30, raise the debt limit and extend a host of other expiring programs.
After such a dramatic move in opposing the health care bill, McCain has also slammed Trump for the pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio from a jail sentence stemming from a conviction of defying a federal court order in 2011. As McCain said in an official statement:
“No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders. The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
Clearly, with limited time left in the Senate, McCain is determined to help stall the Trump agenda.
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