By the time the Senate approved a bill to fund the government until October, the president was on the verge of agreeing to a series of short-term spending measures that he would have to veto, including one that would have given the Treasury Department authority to buy bonds from U.S. banks and make the bonds available to the nation’s credit rating agencies.
But the president had already rejected the short-and-sweet bill, which the White House and Democratic senators argued would create an unsustainable, costly government, and would also have put the country’s finances in an untenable position.
Instead, he would use the money to fix the nation.
McCain, the first Republican to hold the Senate since John F. Kennedy in 1962, delivered a forceful and detailed speech on the floor of the Senate, telling senators he was determined to fix our broken government.
He made clear that the nation would have a new president by the end of this year.
The new president would have the authority to negotiate with other countries on the debt, and McCain told senators that he believed the Senate could get the $1.2 trillion debt ceiling agreement through, which would be enough to keep the government funded until at least Oct. 31.
The president’s allies in Congress, meanwhile, said he would veto the short measure, saying it would create a “fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.”
But McCain, who is popular among his constituents, insisted that the Senate had to vote on it.
The next day, as Senate leaders began a series to debate the short bill, McCain took to the Senate floor to deliver his final argument for the deal, arguing that it was a way to get things done.
“We can’t let our leaders in Washington and the White Houses in Washington go off the rails.
We need a bold and effective plan to restore the economy and rebuild our military,” McCain said.
“And I will be the first to tell you, it will cost $1 trillion.
But I’m telling you, this will get done.”
As the Senate debate neared its end, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he expected McCain would sign the measure into law as early as Monday.
Senators from both parties on the Senate Appropriations Committee voted along party lines on Monday night to pass the $2.1 trillion debt relief bill.
It was McCain’s first major legislative achievement in six years as president.
But it was also a political blow to the president.
He had been seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, and Republicans had been eager to support him as he prepared to face his party’s primary challenge in 2020.
McCains approval rating dropped in early September, falling from 65 percent in August to 42 percent in September.
That is a drop of eight percentage points since September 2016, when he was sworn in as president in January.
Democrats were also hoping for a bigger boost in their presidential race in 2020, and they hoped McCain could play a more prominent role in shaping the GOP nominee’s message.
But McCain, with his record as a Vietnam vet, and with some Republicans, had been a thorn in their side during his presidency.
McCain had already been in the Senate for eight years, and his vote was a sign of how vulnerable Democrats were to a Republican attack in 2020 if he were to run.
The Senate’s final vote, which passed 56-45, was a victory for Democrats, who had hoped to push through a $1-trillion debt-relief measure in September, and for some Republicans who feared that Democrats would use a vote on the measure to take away votes from other spending measures.
Republicans said that McCain was still a strong and trustworthy leader who could lead the country into a brighter future.
“He’s a good friend and a great senator, and he’s been a good steward of taxpayer money,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the vote.
“He’ll be a good partner for the president in the next four years.”
Democrats were not able to pass any of their own short- and sweet spending measures in the current session, and the Senate must vote on another one in September to continue funding the government.
But they are still hoping to pass a debt-reduction package in the coming months, which they hope will be enough for Democrats to win control of the House of Representatives.
If Republicans win the House, they will need to pass similar measures to get any significant progress on their long-term budget plans through Congress.
Republicans have long criticized the government shutdowns as a failure and have pushed to pass measures that would avoid any government shutdown.
The White House has also said it will not negotiate with the Senate on debt-ceiling legislation until Republicans can agree on one.
Republicans are expected to use the shutdown as an opportunity to make gains on key legislation, including a tax cut, immigration reform and a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act.
But some Republicans worry that the debt-rescue package, which includes