Senator John McCain is calling on his fellow Congressmembers to work together to produce results for the American people, even with a President who is “often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”
The Republican penned the article just before Congress is set to reconvene for what is shaping up to be a busy legislative session. Legislators in Washington are set to consider important spending bills, potential tax reform measures, and may add on other considerations including immigration and infrastructure bills.
For Mr McCain, who was recently diagnosed with a deadly strain of brain cancer, now is the time for members of Congress to extend a hand across the aisle to try and find compromise — no matter what Donald Trump might tweet about his fellow Republicans.
“We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him,” Mr McCain wrote for the Washington Post. “But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people.”
“We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power,” he continued. “And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”
The remarks come at a time when politics in America are deeply divided, and after years of Congress running in what has been a virtual deadlock. Mr McCain, just after his diagnoses, made similar remarks to his recent op-ed, calling on his colleagues to work together from the Senate floor after a vote to kill a highly contentious healthcare bill that was written in secret.
But, Mr McCain’s new willingness to criticise the President may come as no surprise. The former prisoner of war was attacked my Mr Trump during the 2016 campaign, and has had a contentious relationship since. Mr Trump has recently criticised Mr McCain and his fellow Arizonan, Senator Jeff Flake, frequently recently, too.