Senate

McCain’s Former Primary Rival Wants Him to Resign

Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) former primary rival, Kelli Ward (R), urged the ailing senator to step aside after his diagnosis of brain cancer, the Washington Post reports.

Said Ward: “As a Christian, I know there can always be miracles. But the likelihood that John McCain is going to be able to come back to the Senate and be at full force for the people of our state and the people of the United States is low.”

She went on to say that she hoped to be appointed to fill his seat should he leave office.

McCain’s Absence Could Impact Health Care Bill

New York Times: “The circumstances are eerily similar. In the middle of contentious health care deliberations, a larger-than-life figure in the Senate learns he has a very serious form of brain cancer. A leading voice goes quiet and the Senate suffers for it.”

“Such was the case in 2008 when Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, learned he had brain cancer and again this week when it was announced that John McCain, Republican of Arizona, had the exact condition that claimed his colleague — a man who shared Mr. McCain’s zest for a good argument and for cutting a deal.”

Christie Could Pick a Senator Before He Leaves

Gov. Chris Christie (R) “is the most unpopular governor in the country, but in his last days in office he may get to exercise enormous influence nationally: Choosing a successor to embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), which could result in a Republican senator, at least temporarily, from deep-blue New Jersey,” Politico reports.

Menendez “goes on trial for corruption in September, and there are two scenarios that could see him leave Washington before Christie is term-limited out of office in January: If Menendez is convicted and the Senate acts quickly to expel him, or if he cuts a plea deal and leaves office even earlier.”

McCain Has Brain Cancer

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been diagnosed with brain cancer after pathology was performed following this weekend’s surgery, CNN reports.

Agree or disagree with his politics, McCain is a true American hero. I know I speak for all readers in conveying our best wishes to the senator and his family.

A Massive Defeat for McConnell

Politico: “The failure of Obamacare repeal marks Mitch McConnell’s lowest point as Senate GOP leader. Despite having a Republican in the White House, full GOP control of Congress, and seven years of campaign promises – ‘pulling out Obamacare root and branch,’ as the Kentucky Republican famously declared – McConnell acknowledged this week that that he didn’t have the votes to even start debate on replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.”

“It’s a serious defeat for McConnell, and one that leaves deep bitterness among rank-and-file GOP senators, as moderates and conservatives blamed each other over who is at fault for the setback. It’s also a blow to McConnell’s reputation as a master legislator and raises doubts in the White House about what Senate Republicans can actually deliver for President Donald Trump. McConnell, like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), finds himself caught between the factions in his own party. And like Ryan, McConnell hasn’t demonstrated that he knows how to resolve the dispute.”

The GOP Has the Numbers But Not a True Majority

Stan Collender: “The biggest lesson from the Republicans’ failure to develop and pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act is that having 52 out of 100 votes in the U.S. Senate does not guarantee a victory. The GOP’s numerical majority is not an ideological majority, and the collapse of the health care debate shows definitively that Senate (and probably House) Republicans are anything but ideologically aligned on major issues.”

“Congressional Republicans are so divided that the White House’s and leadership’s original promise of quick, definitive action was the height of political hubris. The GOP’s divisions on at least the major issues are much larger than the size of their majorities in both houses of Congress.”

“The Trump administration’s arrogance is somewhat understandable given its political inexperience and unsophistication, but it’s absolutely unforgivable from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).”

McCain’s Surgery May Be More Serious Than Thought

“The condition for which Senator John McCain had surgery on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two,” the New York Times reports.

“But many questions have been left unanswered, including whether Mr. McCain had symptoms that prompted doctors to look for the clot. In June, his somewhat confused questioning of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, led to concerns about his mental status, which he later jokingly dismissed by saying he had stayed up too late watching baseball the night before.”