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McCain: we must work around our “poorly informed” and “impulsive” president

Tom Williams/ Getty Images

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants Congress to start working together and to stop being so deferential to President Donald Trump.

The president “has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct,” McCain wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post Friday. “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.”

Overall, the op-ed read as a battle cry to get Congress ready for a full legislative agenda when it returns to order next week — including tax reform, infrastructure, and increasing the debt limit.

Those priorities don’t always line up with President Trump’s. McCain jabs at Trump’s infamous plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico, suggesting a comprehensive immigration compromise that would address both border security and provide a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants.

But he also had some harsh words for his fellow members of Congress: “We are proving inadequate not only to our most difficult problems but also to routine duties. 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.”

McCain — who has clashed with Trump since the president’s early days on the campaign trail — has called before for Congress to return to regular order and for more concessions and compromises. It’s one reason he provided the crucial third vote that sent the Republican health care bill down to defeat earlier this summer. The question now is how many of his fellow Republicans are willing to go along.