With the Senate voting on the Republican tax bill later this week, Republican leaders will have one less vote to count on in trying to pass the much-hated Christmas present to the nation’s oligarchs.
Unfortunately, it’s not because one of the more vulnerable and compassionate senators has had a come-to-Jesus moment and realized the horrific act that they were about to undertake, but because Senator John McCain will go straight from the Maryland hospital where he’s been undergoing chemotherapy for the primary glioblastoma in his brain back to Arizona to recuperate, according to a report by CBS News.
McCain will, therefore, not be available to vote on the tax bill, leaving the Republican leadership a margin of only two votes that they can lose before the bill is put before the Senate for a final decision. With the last two GOP holdouts against the bill, Senators Bob Corker and Marco Rubio, having caved in their opposition to the bill’s multi-trillion dollar increase in the debt and to its miserly child tax credit for lower-income families respectively, the bill is likely to pass.
That is unless a massive groundswell of opposition is directed at the Republican Senators worried about their future electoral prospects by the majority of Americans who will see their taxes eventually increase under the bill and who will surely suffer from the cuts in government-provided social services that will inevitably follow from the loss of tax revenue.
McCain was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland last week for what his spokesperson called “normal side effects” of his brain cancer treatment. CBS News spoke to his son-in-law, Meghan McCain’s husband, Ben Domenech who said that the Senator was in “good spirits” and that;
“I’m happy to say that he’s doing well. The truth is that as anyone knows whose family has battled cancer or any significant disease that oftentimes there are side effects of treatment that you have.”
While Mccain’s colleagues in the Senate expect that he’ll be healthy enough to return to the Senate after the holiday break, he’s not the only Republican Senator with health issues. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) was at the hospital earlier this week having a non-cancerous lesion removed from his face.
Although that was a relatively minor procedure, even for an 80-year-old Senator, the narrowness of the Republican margin in the Senate makes every medical issue that a legislator may face a potential deal-breaker in the vote, if it incapacitates the wrong person at the wrong time.
Or perhaps that should say the right person at the right time? With a bill this disastrous, it’s difficult not to wish for an immediate outbreak of the flu to hit the Republican Senate chambers this week and derail the planned vote until at least after Alabama Senator Doug Jones can be seated in his rightful place in Congress.