McCain heads home as vote on tax bill looms

  • FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door session where Republican senators met on the GOP effort to overhaul the tax code, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says McCain is returning home to Arizona after being hospitalized over the side effects from his brain cancer treatment. The 81-year-old McCain has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) J. Scott Applewhite

  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., makes his way to a meeting in Washington about the tax bill on Dec. 1. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Bill O’Leary Bill O'Leary

Washington Post
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sen. John McCain left the nation’s capital Sunday to spend Christmas in Arizona with his family as he battles brain cancer, giving his Republican Party one less vote as it is expected this week to attempt to push through a contentious tax bill along party lines.

President Donald Trump told reporters Sunday that McCain, R-Ariz., and his wife, Cindy McCain, have “headed back (to Arizona), but I understand he’ll come if we ever needed his help, which hopefully we won’t.” He added: “But the word is John will come back if we need his vote. It’s too bad. He’s going through very tough time, there’s no question about it. But he will come back if we need his vote.”

Trump said he spoke to Cindy McCain by phone Sunday. “I wished her well. I wish John well,” he said.

Sen. McCain was hospitalized Wednesday while receiving chemotherapy treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby National Institutes of Health. He received a diagnosis early this year of glioblastoma, an aggressive, malignant brain tumor that can cause headaches, seizures, blurred vision and other symptoms.

News of McCain’s travel emerged Sunday after his daughter Meghan McCain tweeted about the family’s plan.

“Thank you to everyone for their kind words,” she wrote. “My father is doing well and we are all looking forward to spending Christmas together in Arizona. If you’re feeling charitable this Christmas @HeadfortheCure or @NBTStweets to help find a cure for brain cancer is what I recommend.”