McCain to Congress: We're Not Trump's 'Subordinates'

'We answer to the American people,' senator says in call for compromise
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 9:05 AM CDT
McCain: Congress Answers Not to Trump, but to America
In this July 27, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Despite the troubling instances of white supremacy recently on display in the US, John McCain reminds us that we still remain a country with "shared values [that] define us more than our differences." And in an op-ed for the Washington Post, the Arizona senator implores the American people in general, and government leaders specifically, to draw upon those shared values to see us through our contemporary challenges. In a pointed note to Congress, McCain notes that "we are proving inadequate not only to our most difficult problems but also to routine duties," taking members to task for partisan politics and a failure to compromise. "We can fight like hell for our ideas to prevail," he writes. "But we have to respect each other or at least respect the fact that we need each other."

McCain's reason for why this is more important than ever: President Trump, whom the senator says "has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed, and can be impulsive." That's not to say McCain advocates non-cooperation with Trump, or flouting his authority. "But we are not his subordinates," he notes. "We don't answer to him. We answer to the American people." How McCain suggests Congress can effectively function in this "polarized atmosphere": by returning to a "regular order" of things, with more respectful debate and more coming into the middle from both sides on issues from infrastructure and tax reform to immigration. "These are all opportunities to show that ordinary, decent, free people can govern competently, respectfully, and humbly, and to prove the value of the United States Congress to the great nation we serve," he writes. His full op-ed here. (More John McCain stories.)

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