Bill to keep McCain seat in GOP's hands on hold

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FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door session on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door session on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Senate President Steve Yarbrough said he will bring the bill back for a vote but did not say when. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Senate President Steve Yarbrough said he will bring the bill back for a vote but did not say when. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The original proposal passed the House with bipartisan support, but the Senate added an emergency clause to the bill this week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The original proposal passed the House with bipartisan support, but the Senate added an emergency clause to the bill this week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A move to likely keep Sen. John McCain's seat in Republican hands should the ailing senator leave office is on hold.

With no explanation, Senate leaders pulled HB 2538 Wednesday moments before lawmakers voted.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

The proposal changes the way Arizona replaces its members of Congress who die or resign.

The original proposal passed the House with bipartisan support, but the Senate added an emergency clause to the bill this week.

[READ MORE: Arizona Senate moves to change rules for replacing McCain]

The emergency clause means the changes take effect immediately with a two-thirds vote and the governor's signature.

That could factor into this election year should McCain, who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, step down.

[READ MORE: Sen. John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer]

There are no plans for McCain to step down.

But under current law, McCain's seat would be up for election this fall if he left office before May 31.

[READ MORE: AZ Sen. McCain recovering in hospital after surgery for intestinal infection]

HB 2538 effectively delays the election until 2020 with Gov. Ducey appointing the Arizona senator's replacement.

Because Ducey is a Republican, he would likely select someone from the GOP to fill the vacated seat.

[SPECIAL SECTION: John McCain Stories]

Senate President Steve Yarbrough said he will bring the bill back for a vote but did not say when.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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