Just under two weeks after he underwent brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Senator John McCain made his return to Washington D.C.
McCain, 80, arrived on Capitol Hill around 2:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and immediately headed directly to the Senate floor, where he cast his vote in favor of starting debate on the controversial GOP-led healthcare bill. The former presidential candidate was greeted by senators from both sides of the aisle, who gave him hugs and words of encouragement as he continues his recovery from the surgery and diagnosis.
McCain was seen with a large scar over his left eye along with some swelling and bruising. But that didn’t stop him from delivering an emotional plea to his colleagues to put their differences aside and amend the healthcare bill to the point where it’s best for all Americans. He also lambasted them for essentially getting nothing done in session this year.
“All we’ve really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court,” he said in his remarks before saying he refuses to vote in favor of the bill in its current state. “I will not vote for this bill as it is today, it’s a shell of a bill right now.”
The motion to proceed in debate passed, 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence being the deciding vote.
See some photos of McCain’s return to Senate below:
McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last week after having a blood clot removed from his left eye. The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said in a statement that “a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.”
Many have been concerned about the senator’s health in recent months, though rumors about his health have been around for years. In 2005, the senator responded to talk about how he was feeling and said that his health was “excellent.” Five years before that, he was treated for melanoma on his face.
In June, when former F.B.I. Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, McCain seemed very confused. His sentences didn’t make too much sense when he asked a question, many people wondered if he was okay.