Republican Senator John McCain today criticized the form and content of US President Donald Trump’s deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling until Dec. 8.
“That was not a bipartisan exercise,” McCain said in an interview with CNN today.
Trump stunned his party leaders in Congress this week to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling with Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer and the Democratic minority leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “were surprised to hear that he had reached this agreement with Chuck and Nancy,” McCain said.
The influential senator, who was running for president in 2008, explained that the proposal that Trump accepted was rejected shortly by Ryan.
“This is not how we negotiate,” said McCain, one of Republican lawmakers most critical of President Trump’s administration.
The senator, veteran of the Vietnam War, also considered that the agreement is “devastating for the national defense”.
As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain argued that his task is to ensure that “the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces have everything they need.”
“Under this agreement, not only do they not have everything they need, but their lives are in greater danger. We can not do that to them,” he said.
Congress approved a $ 15.25 billion rescue package for Hurricane Harvey victims on Friday, extending the three-month debt ceiling and funding to the federal government until December 8.
The vote in the House of Representatives made clear the discontent among the Republican ranks over the pact with the Democrats: 316 votes in favor and 90 against, all of them conservatives in President Trump’s party.
Republicans have a majority in both the lower house and the senate.