Jul 16, 2017

Senate to delay health care vote after McCain's eye surgery

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced tonight that the health care vote that was set for next week will be delayed — because now Sen. John McCain is going to spend the week in Arizona recovering from eye surgery. He had a blood clot removed yesterday from above his left eye and will stay in Arizona next week, per a statement from his office.

Senate Republicans need 50 votes just to start the debate, let alone pass it — enough for Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie. Sens. Susan Collins and Rand Paul are expected to vote with all 46 Democrats and two Democrat-leaning independents against starting the debate. So if there are 50 "no" votes and only 49 "yes" votes — because McCain's not there — they can't even take up the bill.

What McConnell said in his statement: "While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act."

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Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina if capacity reduced

President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.