In 2013, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., “crazy” for trying to defund ObamaCare. Now, the failed 2008 Republican nominee is threatening a government shutdown if defense spending isn’t increased further, something he previously said was “not rational.”
“We’re doing things that frankly are not rational in the view of our constituents,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday, October 3. ”I’ve expressed my deep distress throughout this process,” he added.
He said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in late October “the American people will not stand for another one of these things.”
Sen. McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are beating the war drums hard in Syria. With a Republican president in the White House and the debt ceiling fight around the corner, the will of the American people is no longer a consideration.
He told reporters last week that he will not vote for a “continuing resolution” that keeps government spending at the same level until a budget is passed because he believes defense spending is too low.
“I will not vote for a CR no matter what the consequences because passing a CR destroys the ability of the military to defend this nation, and it puts the lives of the men and women in the military at risk,” Sen. McCain first told CNN. “I can’t do that to them.”
He repeated that line multiple times on Thursday, declaring that “there will be no continuing resolution.”
President Donald Trump proposed the biggest increase in defense spending ever for a single year, but Sen. McCain apparently doesn’t want to wait.
With conservative members wrestling with a continuing resolution that doesn’t increase spending, Sen. McCain’s debt ceiling demand increases the likelihood of a government shutdown. It was that very thinking that led the Arizona war hawk to say Sens. Cruz and Rand Paul, R-Kty., were “wacko birds.”
Like it or not, Sen. Cruz was at least keeping a campaign promise to the American people, particularly the working people of Texas. As the underdog against an establishment favorite, Mr. Cruz ran to the right of his opponent largely on the health care issue, and he won.
What’s Mr. McCain’s motivation?
According to OpenSecrets.org, 3 of the top 4 contributing industries to Sen. McCain from 2015 to 2016 were defense-related industries–Misc Defense (#1), Defense Electronics (#2) and Defense Aerospace (#4).