Politics

Now McCain is Schumer’s Hero

Senate Minority Leader said McCain told him about his vote in the afternoon

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, praised Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for his vote against the Republican plans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it was announced Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, members of both parties hailed him as “an American hero.”

When he returned to Washington, presumably to cast the deciding vote on the Republican health care bill, President Donald Trump, who once famously disputed McCain’s heroism, called him “Brave – American hero!”

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and the rest of his party had an extra reason on Thursday night to call McCain a hero after the Arizona Republican cast the deciding vote to torpedo Republicans' attempts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

John McCain is a hero and has courage and does the right thing,” Schumer told reporters after the vote.

Watch John McCain Cast His Decisive Vote Against the GOP Health Care Bill

Schumer said he knew how McCain would vote on the bill when he stepped on the Senate floor around 10 p.m. Thursday.

“I’ve been talking to him four, five times a day for three, four days,” Schumer said.

Schumer added they discussed a number of various topics such as how bad the legislation was and making the Senate work again.

“And he knew that. So did half of his colleagues but he had the courage to vote no,” Schumer said.

McCain had returned to the Senate while undergoing cancer treatment and voted for a motion to proceed on Tuesday.

When asked if Schumer knew when McCain would vote, he said “Sometime late this afternoon.”

— Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.