Last Wednesday, Senator John McCain revealed he's been diagnosed with a deadly and aggressive brain cancer after surgery on a blood clot in his brain revealed a malignant tumor. McCain's absence from Washington as he recovered from surgery was seen as an obstacle to Republicans' goal of moving forward on healthcare. Today, however, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings a motion to proceed vote to the floor of the Senate, John McCain is returning to Washington to cast what is seen as a pivotal vote.
McCain released a statement and tweet saying he was "looking forward" to returning to Washington.
Look forward to returning to Senate tomorrow to continue work on health care reform, defense bill & #RussiaSanctions https://t.co/VQBtovnwF1— John McCain (@John McCain)1500944765.0
With at least two Republican Senators having expressed opposition to moving forward on repeal, Senator McCain's vote is seen as a crucial one. But even as the healthcare vote looms later today, it's still unclear what bill will be voted on, only that McConnell will hold a procedural vote called a motion to proceed.
Tomorrow, I will keep my commitment to vote to move beyond the failures of #Obamacare. I will vote yes on the motion to proceed.— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell)1500930385.0
Both Democrats and Republicans railed against McConnell for keeping details of Tuesday's vote a secret.
On Face The Nation on Sunday, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine expressed her frustration with the lack of transparency in the process.
Susan Collins says the health care vote is Tuesday but she doesn't know what bill the Senate will be voting on. https://t.co/u9ywb9GsjM— Sahil Kapur (@Sahil Kapur)1500826845.0
And Democrats did the same.
Can anyone tell me what's in the #healthcare bill we are supposedly voting on tomorrow? @SenateGOP & @SenateMajLdr have given us zero info.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1500923253.0
The American people, my fellow Senators and I deserve to know about and weigh in on this #healthcare bill before voting!— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1500930760.0
5/ Are we voting first on the House bill? The first Senate bill? The second Senate bill? A brand new bill? Asking for 99 friends.— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy)1500855508.0
And some questioned whether it was right to force McCain to fly to DC just for this vote rather than allow him to continue to recuperate.
This is disgusting. If you feel confident in your approach to health care, wait for the man to come back to work. https://t.co/8hZGROfsdh— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer)1500929908.0
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to convene at 12pm ET on Tuesday.