Foes from left and right are using the delayed vote on the Republican health care bill to make it as politically toxic as possible for wavering GOP senators to support it.
Over the weekend Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the GOP health care bill. Arizona Sen. John McCain's absence has left Republicans short of the votes necessary to move ahead on the legislation to erase much of Barack Obama's health care law.
McCain's office says the 80-year-old Arizona senator underwent surgery Friday to remove a blood clot. McCain is at home and recuperating.
McConnell said he had spoken to McCain and that he hoped the ailing senator will be back in the Senate soon. McCain's office says he'll remain in Arizona this week.
President Trump says he hopes McCain gets better soon and calls him a "crusty voice in Washington."
Trump added, "Plus, we need his vote."
Trump brought up McCain while calling for the repeal of the national health care law during a trade event at the White House.
McCain's absence has led Senate leaders to postpone action on the health care measure. It needs almost every Republican vote to pass.
But the postponement also gives McConnell and the White House more time to cut the deals they need to rescue the imperiled measure.
McConnell signaled Monday that days of bargaining and persuasion with reluctant colleagues lie ahead. He says the only way to prevail "is with continued hard work, and that's just what we intend to do. "
The AARP is aiming TV and radio ads at undecided, moderate Republican senators in five states. From the right, Americans for Prosperity is rallying its members to urge senators to make the bill even more conservative.