John McCain has long been a thorn in the side of Constitutional conservatives within the republican party who cannot count on the long-time Senator’s vote when it really matters.
McCain himself has long been an anomaly within the republican party. The aging politician is known for his “maverick” moniker, which denotes less of an independent attitude and more of a centrist streak that has him often siding with democrats and other obstructionists, particularly as it pertains to the Donald Trump agenda that the American people are clamoring for.
Earlier this year, McCain was instrumental in thwarting an attempt by Congress to repeal the disastrous Obamacare legislation that is bankrupting Americans by the hundreds, using his time on the floor to carry out a publicity stunt in which he made a dramatic “thumbs down” gesture to a gasping cadre of onlookers. This signaled just the latest round of “resistance” coming from the ill McCain, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain cancer diagnosis. (Members of Congress are exempt from Obamacare, so McCain is likely being treated far more wonderfully than We The People could ever dream of).
Now, as Trump’s tax reform promises loom large on the horizon, McCain could again find himself instrumental in moving the measure through the legislative system. If his previous attempts at thwarting the President are any indication, however, we could see a repeat of the Arizona Senator’s self-aggrandizing stunt sooner rather than later.
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“On tax policy itself, McCain has proved a moving target. He opposed the 2001 Bush tax cuts — one of only two Republicans to do so — citing what he called the bill’s lopsided benefits for the wealthy. ‘I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief,’ he said. Two years later, he was one of only three Republicans to vote against the next round of Bush cuts, again citing its skew toward the rich but also the deficit impact of another round of breaks as the country faced mounting war bills.
“McCain reversed himself in 2006, voting to extend the cuts. He argued at the time that ending the breaks would amount to a tax hike. ‘American businesses and investors need a stable and predictable tax policy to continue contributing to the growth of our economy,’ he said. Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist gave him a backhanded compliment for that, calling it ‘a big flip-flop, but I’m happy he’s flopped.’
“Running for president in 2008, the senator evinced some supply-side thinking, declaring in an ABC News interview that cuts to capital gains taxes would yield more revenue, an effect he said that history demonstrated ‘going back to Jack Kennedy.’ (The Congressional Budget Office has found those cuts provide a sugar-high revenue boost that wears off after a year or two.)”
All of this wild uncertainty within McCain’s political ethos is an enormous cause for concern among congressional republicans, who have no idea which Senator will arrive on the day of voting.
Should McCain choose, once again, to oppose the President’s plan – which opposes the American people’s wishes for the nation – there may be very little hope that Arizona would continue to support McCain. Furthermore, the extremely moderate legislator will likely draw a harsh rebuke from the republican party that, technically, he is still a part of.