Arizona Sen. John McCain made clear in an op-ed Thursday that he believes Congress does not fall secondary to President Donald Trump — instead calling on Congress to return to regular order to accomplish the things Trump can't.
"We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities," McCain wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday night. "We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people."
McCain made the plea to a Congress that faces continued gridlock as it returns from August recess next week, and wrote out how it is the responsibility of Congress to serve as a check to the president's power — pointing to Trump's lack of experience in public office.
"Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct," the Arizona senator wrote.
"We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power," he wrote. "And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation."
McCain, who has been receiving treatment for brain cancer and has completed his first round of chemotherapy treatment, will return to Washington next week, where he's expected to lead the Senate's debate on the National Defense Authorization Act — a high priority for the Armed Services Committee chairman.
"We all know spending levels for defense and other urgent priorities have been woefully inadequate for years," McCain wrote. "But we haven’t found the will to work together to adjust them."
McCain helped to sink Republicans' hopes of Obamacare repeal this summer, voting "no" on the controversial bill after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Trump has publicly knocked him for the vote.
"Congress will return from recess next week facing continued gridlock as we lurch from one self-created crisis to another. We are proving inadequate not only to our most difficult problems but also to routine duties," the senator wrote. "Our national political campaigns never stop. We seem convinced that majorities exist to impose their will with few concessions and that minorities exist to prevent the party in power from doing anything important."
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