July 25- 2017: Mark it down as one of the strangest days of John McCain’s entire lengthy time in the Senate.
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.
McCain’s vote helped Senate Republicans pass a motion to proceed to debating a possible bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare). Senate Republicans, by and large, don’t know what’s in the bill, because the Republican leadership hasn’t told anybody. McCain voted in favor of the motion to proceed despite being aware of this, but then decried the secrecy he endorsed in a speech moments later.
“I know many of you will have to see the bill changed substantially for you to support it. We tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors, in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them that it’s better than nothing,” McCain said, speaking with a gash over his left eye, the result of a recent surgery to remove a blood clot. “I don’t think that’s gonna work in the end, and probably shouldn’t.”
Many observers noticed the contradiction between the senator’s vote and his speech.
McCain, after voting to proceed with unprecedentedly secretive process, is giving a general speech decrying a decline in Senate procedure.
McCain is giving a truly extraordinary speech. It only matters if his actions match it.
This McCain speech would have a little more oomph if he had taken his own advice and voted against poor congressional procedure.
It’s safe to say many eyes will be on McCain if and when the actual repeal comes to a vote.