Republican Arizona Senator John McCain was one of a handful of Republicans to vote against a disaster relief bill in the Senate last week. President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday. McCain defended his vote on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning saying the bill, which had a government funding extension and debt-ceiling increase attached to it, is "devastating" to national defense.
The additions to the bill arose from a White House meeting between President Trump and top members from each party in which Trump sided with Democrats to include the extensions. McCain says the deal that was cut in that meeting freezes last year's defense funding in place which, at the time, was a cut of over $50-billion. McCain adds that the deal goes against the President's campaign promises to beef up the military.
McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake both voted no against the $15-billion disaster relief bill. The bill passed with a vote of 80-17 in the Senate. All 17 no-votes were from Republicans who cite the additions to the bill as the reason for their decisions. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has never voted for a debt limit hike, voted yes because the bill provides Texas much needed relief following Hurricane Harvey.
Senator McCain is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and will be working on a $700-billion defense bill this week. According to the Washington Post, proposed amendments to the bill include measures that will ramp up sanctions against North Korea and also possibly reverse President Trump's decision to ban transgender troops. McCain hasn't said whether he is considering adding any of the proposals to the bill or allowing them a vote.
Watch McCain's full appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" by clicking here.