HomeTrending TopicsJohn McCain’s Absence Weighs On The Senate – NPR
Posted in Trending Topics on 12th May 2018

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., within the Capitol final October. J. Scott Applewhite/AP conceal caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Even 2,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., Sen. John McCain can nonetheless make information.

The Arizona Republican this week got here out in opposition to Gina Haspel, President Trump’s CIA director nominee, who testified earlier than the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday. “Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying,” McCain, the Senate’s ethical authority on the subject, mentioned in an announcement. “I consider the Senate ought to train its obligation of recommendation and consent and reject this nomination.”

Whereas McCain’s opposition was not stunning, his name is affecting the calculation on whether or not her nomination can survive the Senate affirmation course of.

“He is the one one who’s been by this,” mentioned Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., referencing McCain’s time as a prisoner of warfare in Vietnam. Flake is undecided on Haspel and mentioned McCain’s place is weighing on his personal decision-making. “I clearly share his views on torture and I all the time have so his views imply quite a bit,” he mentioned.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, shares McCain’s opposition to Haspel and mentioned McCain remains to be in a position to make an influence from afar. “It could be if he have been right here personally, maybe, he may very well be speaking to a few of his colleagues immediately, however his assertion was so clear it was laborious to overlook the purpose that he made,” he mentioned.

Even senators who help Haspel’s nomination, like Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., mentioned he nonetheless takes McCain’s standpoint into consideration in this type of debate. “Look, when John McCain talks, I hear. Typically I agree with him; generally I do not. However I all the time hear.”

Later this month, McCain’s absence can even be felt on the Senate Armed Providers Committee when it takes up McCain’s prized jewel, the annual protection invoice that units the priorities for the Pentagon. McCain is the committee chairman, however he isn’t anticipated to return to shepherd the invoice by the Senate.

The highest Democrat on the committee, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, mentioned senators are shifting ahead in the identical bipartisan method on protection coverage that McCain prides himself on as chairman. “Due to him, we will do our greatest to the job he would need us to do which is to ensure we are able to authorize laws for the forces and do it in a bipartisan, principled means,” Reed mentioned. “He is a terrific character. He is a terrific hero. He is someone that we miss.”

McCain’s well being is a matter of fixed hypothesis on Capitol Hill. One among his greatest buddies, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spent two days in Arizona with him earlier this week. “He is stabilizing. Do not consider what you learn within the paper. I used to be involved once I went; I am pondering now about my subsequent journey. No speaking about funerals,” Graham advised reporters.

The top of the month is a politically delicate deadline in Arizona. Could 30 is a cutoff to have a particular election this yr if the Senate seat turns into vacant. After that date, the governor will get to nominate a senator to serve till a 2020 particular election might be held.

Graham tamped down on hypothesis that McCain’s well being may power him to resign quickly, however he quipped that they weren’t planning his re-election marketing campaign both. “We’re not at 2022 but, however I will let you understand,” he mentioned.

As a substitute, Graham described McCain as bodily recovering and mentally intact, and he mentioned that the 2 cracked clever throughout their latest go to whereas watching McCain’s favourite film. “If you wish to determine John McCain, watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. That tells you all you must find out about me and him,” Graham mentioned.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an outdated Western starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. In it a legendary senator returns house for a funeral, and a reporter protecting the story in the end realizes the senator’s profession is constructed on a fable. However the senator has carried out a lot good, the reporter tosses his notes within the hearth — selecting to not destroy the picture of a well-liked politician and telling him this: “When the legend turns into reality, print the legend.”

Removed from the Senate flooring, John McCain is aware of the way to ship a message.

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