Former and now-again Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) was appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) to fill the vacancy left by the death of Senator John McCain. Senator Kyl has committed to holding the seat only until January 3, 2019 (the end of the current congressional session) but could hold the seat until a special election is held in 2020. In any case, he has said that he does not plan to run for reelection.
Unlike Senator McCain, Senator Kyl would be expected to vote in favor of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since McCain cast the decisive third Republican “NO” vote to defeat earlier repeal legislation, Senator Kyl’s appointment has raised the question of whether Senate leadership might again bring up a bill to repeal the ACA. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that he does not plan to bring up such legislation before the November elections, but has not ruled out the possibility of doing so during the “lame-duck” session, after the election and before the beginning of the next session of Congress. Even if he does so, however, the new Democratic Senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, who took a previously Republican seat in a December special election, would be expected to oppose an ACA repeal bill, meaning that such legislation again would fail to pass the Senate if all other Democratic Senators continue to oppose repeal, as expected. See McConnell: No Plan To Try Again On Obamacare Repeal Soon (The Hill, 9/5/18).