U.S. Senator John McCain
U.S. Senator John McCain
Miriam Wasser

McCain Votes 'No' on Hurricane Relief; Says Bill Hurts Military

Arizona Senator John McCain isn't totally heartless; he does want to help Americans affected by Hurricane Harvey, he said. He supports the proposed $15.25 billion in relief funds and even told Congress he's in favor of raising the debt ceiling to do it. But he voted against the continuing resolution.

The Senate voted 80-17 in favor of adding an emergency fund for hurricane victims — McCain being part of that 17.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former POW, gave a scathing review on the floor, saying that tacking this relief fund onto this continuing resolution will hurt servicemen and women.

"Year after year, we have lurched from one short-term fix to another without doing the hard work of governing and budgeting," McCain said, according to his website. "And year after year, I have reminded my colleagues that CRs are not only no way to fund the government, they inflict great harm upon those Americans we are constitutionally obliged to provide for — our men and women in uniform."

During this summer's health care debate, McCain made a dramatic return to the Senate and delivered a speech that can only be compared to a neighborhood dad wagging his finger in disappointment.

He stressed that regardless of party, the judicial branch needs to come together and restore order rather than say, repealing everything and then scrambling to make something else work.

He reprimanded his colleagues, saying, "We're getting nothing done, my friends." The next day, he gave a literal thumbs down at the proposed health care repeal.

Today's sentiment was similar when he told his fellow senators that this deal was only "kicking the can down the road" rather than "returning to regular order by moving individual spending bills to fund our government."

The relief package will help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and the impending Hurricane Irma, keep their heads above water. It will also, to the dismay of Republicans, keep the federal government afloat until December 8.

In solidarity with his #TexasStrong constituency, Senator Ted Cruz voted in favor of the bill but in his statement added that he was disappointed the relief fund had to be handled this way and that short-term extensions were not the right way to manage spending reform.

"I would have much preferred a clean Harvey relief bill — which would have passed both Houses nearly unanimously," Cruz said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the House passed a $7.9 billion relief aid bill. Although the House was overwhelmingly in favor of it, Congressman Andy Biggs voted against it. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that this tactic of quickly lumping together a hodgepodge bill to give the government more spending authority was "ridiculous."

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