Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made his triumphant return to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, receiving a bipartisan standing ovation and delivering a rousing speech encouraging lawmakers to work together to improve the health care system in America.
Last week, McCain was diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer. He had a malignant tumor surgically removed. Days later, he was back in action.
McCain began his speech by joking that he was probably “looking a little worse for wear,” referring to his surgery wounds. But his joking demeanor quickly turned serious.
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“Make no mistake, my service here is the most important job I’ve had in my life,” he said.
WATCH: Part one of Senator Mccain’s “Speech for the ages” on the Senate Floor
McCain urged the Senate to embrace the longstanding principles of bipartisanship and compromise to make incremental progress and make America a better country. He criticized “both sides” for allowing the Senate to become inefficient and failing to get things done.
“We are getting nothing done,” McCain proclaimed. “Our health care and current system is a mess. We all know it, those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it.”
That being said, McCain revealed he would not vote for the GOP health care bill in its current form.
“What have we to lose by trying to work together to try to find those solutions? We’re not much done much apart,” McCain said. “I don’t think any of us feel very proud by our incapacity.”
He added glowing praise for the United States of America, saying, “We are the servants of a great nation.”
McCain ended his speech by thanking his colleagues for all the kind works and prayers they have offered him following his cancer diagnosis. The Republican will remain in Washington, D.C., for a few days to finish his legislative duties and then will return home for a “while” for medical treatment.
But he made one thing clear: he plans to be back in the U.S. Senate.
WATCH: Part two of Senator Mccain’s “Speech for the ages” on the Senate Floor