Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, who is mourning the loss of his wife after she passed away last week, was going to fly to Washington, D.C. for the vote on the new GOP health care plan, but has changed his travel plans amid news the vote has been postponed.
The visitation and funeral services for Rush's late wife Carolyn are scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday.
At noon Thursday, Rush told NBC 5 he was on his way to Washington, saying he felt his vote was needed.
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“If [Carolyn] were here today, in this time, she would tell me to go to Washington," Rush said in the exclusive interview.
The congressman was booked on a 3 p.m. flight to D.C. but he later canceled those plans.
Rush said he spoke to Democratic leadership who could not guarantee the health care vote would take place before 6 a.m. Friday. Soon after, sources told NBC News the House of Representatives postponed the vote after more conservative members of the party refused to pledge for the measure.
Rush had planned to return to Chicago early Friday morning because “we’ve got family who are arriving [Thursday] to mourn her passing. Tomorrow the official services start.”
He noted his wife, who had been critically ill for six months, “had good health care."
"Every American deserves the health care that my wife had,” Rush said.
Rush said the reason he was willing to leave his family to go to Washington was “I have to do my part to resist the evil, wicked president.”
The bill could still come to a vote in coming days.