Speed Reads

McCain vs. cancer

John McCain returns to Arizona, plans to miss tax vote

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returned to Arizona on Sunday, after spending half a week at Walter Reed Medical Center amid chemotherapy treatment for a malignant brain tumor. McCain's office released a statement from Dr. Mark Gilbert, the chief of neuro-oncology at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, saying McCain "continues to improve" after responding well to treatment for a viral infection and is "responding positively" to the cancer treatment. McCain's office also said the 81-year-old senator "looks forward to returning to Washington in January," confirming that he will miss this week's vote on the Republican tax plan.

McCain's absence doesn't appear to put the $1.5 trillion tax bill's passage in jeopardy, as all 51 other Republican senators have indicated they will vote in favor. "The word is John will come back if we need his vote," President Trump said Sunday. "It's too bad. He's going through a very tough time, there's no question about it. But he will come back if we need his vote." A Republican close to McCain told CNN he left Walter Reed "exhausted, but okay."