At 1:05A (ET) on the last Friday of July, 2017, Senator John McCain went over the the Democratic side and put his left arm up as far as he could, and put it around Senator Diannne Feinstein and embraced her.
This was the defining moment for a man who was once a prisoner of war in Hanoi for over five and one-half years and served in the Senate for most of our lifetimes. Since announcing that he had brain cancer, and coming back dramatically to post his vote, this was his moment.
With the Vice President leaving his position in his chair high above the Senate floor, and descending into the well of the Senate and attempting to pressure the senior Senator from Arizona to vote for the ‘skinny repeal’ of the Health Care Act, drama was as high as a Frank Capra film. While John McCain did not give a Jimmy Stewart impassioned speech on this night, his actions spoke volumes on the American sprit of liberty.
At 1:29A, John McCain voted against his party, against his party’s Speaker of the House whom he did not feel he could trust, and against his party’s President who at one time said the Senator was not a war hero. There was applause on the Democratic side of the Senate chamber.
The final vote in the Senate was No 51 Yes 49. Somehow, with a minority the Democrats defeated the seven year Republican try to repeal the Health Care Act.
The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell at 1:39A, stated that this was ‘clearly a disappointing moment’.
For others, it was one of the greatest moments in their observance of the Senate.