Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reported on Sunday the his friend Arizona Sen. John McCain will return to Washington, D.C., in January.
“Sen. McCain is in rehab. He’s coming back in January. We need his voice now more than ever,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Graham did not elaborate on the 81-year-old senator’s current condition.
McCain left the nation’s capital to return to his home in Arizona in the middle of last month to recover from the side effects of his treatment for brain cancer and to be with his family for the Christmas holidays.
He is battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer — and the same disease that claimed the life of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden.
Prior to his departure, McCain had been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.
The ailing senator missed the vote on the Republican tax reform bill, but the measure still passed with full GOP support in the Senate.
According to the Arizona Republic, McCain is receiving rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.
Mark Gilbert, chief of neuro-oncology at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, said in a statement on Dec. 17 that McCain is “responding positively to ongoing treatment.”
Arizona Republicans are nonetheless preparing for the possibility that McCain may soon leave office. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey would name McCain’s interim replacement in such an eventuality.
Among those who have been mentioned are Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Martha McSally, as well as former Congressman Matt Salmon.
Sen. Jeff Flake announced his decision last fall not to seek re-election, meaning Arizona voters may face the rare prospect of electing two senators on the same ballot later this year.
McCain and Flake have appeared to revel in opposing President Donald Trump during his first year in office, for which the Arizona Republic’s editorial board named them the “Arizonans of the Year.”
McCain retweeted the announcement the day after Christmas.
The editors wrote, “John McCain and Jeff Flake are our Arizonans of the Year because they bucked their president and called on us to remember our ideals, standards, decency and honor.”
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