McCain's Senate floor speech contradicts a vote he cast moments before

Pauline Gross
July 29, 2017

McCain was one of only three GOP senators to vote against the measure - the others were Sen.

The 80-year-old was diagnosed with brain cancer less than two weeks ago, after doctors discovered a brain tumor when the lawmaker underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

McCain did not announce in advance whether he would support Tuesday's "motion to proceed", but he marched onto the floor to a standing ovation from his colleagues and voted "aye".

"I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us", McCain said.

In a resounding speech on the Senate floor upon his return after the diagnosis last week, he urged his colleagues to work across the aisle and return to regular order in the Senate, arguably, something he did with his vote early Friday. "We are his equal!"

McCain made a dramatic return from his Arizona home to cast a critical vote to keep alive one of Trump's top legislative priorities, the repeal of 2010's Obamacare law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act. "Many people understandably would be curled up in bed in the foetal position".

McCain himself campaigned heavily on the "Obamacare" repeal issue previous year as he won re-election to a sixth and nearly certainly final Senate term.

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And there could be sweet revenge in defying cancer to undo the signature legislation of the man who beat him for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama.

The senator flew to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday - days after being diagnosed with brain cancer - just in time to cast a vote that, moments later, he appeared to ridicule in a speech on the Senate floor.

The Arizona senator has emerged as one of the president's most outspoken GOP critics on Capitol Hill.

McCain's return was eerily reminiscent of a similar scenario involving McCain's good friend, the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of MA, who returned to the Senate in July 2008 while battling brain cancer to vote on Medicare legislation, his dramatic entry in the chamber eliciting cheers and applause. It is of the same category of cancer that led to the death of another icon of the US Senate, Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009 at age 77.

A few hours after the middle-of-the-night vote, McCain was back to work in his office.

As voting got underway, protesters in the Senate gallery disrupted the session, shouting "Kill the bill, don't kill us!" and "Shame, shame, shame!"

Other reports by GizPress

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