Sen. John McCain will likely miss Congress’ upcoming vote on the GOP’s sweeping tax overhaul, as he returned to his home state of Arizona on Dec. 17 to continue recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy for a brain tumor.
Two sources close to McCain confirmed that the senator will likely not return to Capitol Hill for the rest of the year, CNN reports. One Republican close to McCain said that the senator is “exhausted but ok.”
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, also confirmed over Twitter that the senator would be home for Christmas.
“Thank you to everyone for their kind words. My father is doing well and we are all looking forward to spending Christmas together in Arizona,” she wrote Dec. 17.
McCain revealed in July that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was admitted to a hospital on Dec. 13 for a viral infection after missing three consecutive days of Senate votes.
McCain’s office addressed the issue in a statement: “Senator McCain has returned to Arizona and will undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic. He is grateful for the excellent care he continues to receive, and appreciates the outpouring of support from people all over the country. He looks forward to returning to Washington in January.”
The viral infection was reported to be a side effect of chemotherapy, according to The New York Times.
Dr. Mark R. Gilbert, chief of the neuro-oncology branch at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, said that McCain was doing well and “responding positively to ongoing treatment.”
The senator’s form of brain cancer has a median survival time of not much more than a year.
McCain will likely miss the vote on a sweeping tax overhaul that dramatically cuts corporate and business tax rates. His vote, however, is not considered necessary for passage, as all 52 Senate Republicans are now on record as supporting the bill.
President Donald Trump says that he has spoken to McCain’s wife and that the senator will return to Washington if his vote is needed.
“They’ve headed back, but I understand he’ll come if we ever needed his vote, which hopefully we won’t,” said the president. “He’s going through a very tough time, there’s no question about it. But he will come back if we need his vote.”
The House and Senate are expected to vote on the final version of the bill sometime before Dec. 25. McCain has previously voted in favor of the Senate’s version of the bill, saying the tax plan was “far from perfect” but would ultimately benefit the national economy.
Sources: CNN, The New York Times / Featured Image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr / Embedded Images: John McCain/Twitter, Gage Skidmore/Flickr