In a statement Saturday night, McConnell said that “while John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,”
Unless at least one of two Republican senators dropped their opposition to moving ahead on the bill, or a vote was postponed until McCain returned, the bill would not have had the support to proceed.
Two Republican senators — Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine) — have said they will not vote yes to even proceed to the bill. Along with all 48 senators in the Democratic Caucus — and without McCain — their opposition would be enough to block the bill from proceeding to debate. There are 52 Republican senators.
Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said he still planned to vote against proceeding to the bill. A Collins spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.