Politico

Senators, Obamacare repeal wait on McCain's prognosis

Written by Lisa

The Senate’s Obamacare bill isn’t going to move until Sen. John McCain can — but no one knows when that will be.

The Arizona Republican is recovering from weekend surgery and is expected to be home for at least a week, forcing the Senate to indefinitely delay action on its already controversial and slow-moving Obamacare repeal bill. Senate Republicans don’t expect any clarity on when McCain can travel the 2,000 miles back to Washington for several days.

“I’m not sure how serious this is but I personally believe it may be a little more serious than people think,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

McCain’s office declined to further update his condition Monday.

“I talked to him yesterday, he was sounding strong,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest friend in the Senate. “I think it was a very successful operation, I’m glad they found the problem.”

Graham said the pathology report from McCain’s surgery — a craniotomy to remove a 5-cm blood clot — is expected to be back in a day or two and he underscored the significance of the operation.

“He shouldn’t travel for at least a week,” he said. “It’s a pretty major surgery he went through.”

But many senators said Monday they simply didn’t know when to expect the wily Republican to return to Washington.

“I’m concerned about him,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I just don’t have any information. We’re hoping he’ll get back next week. But we have to wait on his doctors.”

Graham is hoping McCain can travel soon — for the sake of his family.

“I hope he leaves in a week — he’ll drive them crazy,” Graham joked. “They’ll have to send the Delta Force in.”

Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

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