“We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities,” McCain wrote. “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. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”
The thrust of McCain’s op-ed was about restoring Congress to “regular order,” something the senator said is impossible with hyper partisanship that doesn’t compromise. The senator also wrote about his displeasure with the white supremacy that was on full-display in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
That ideal, McCain said, is harder with Trump in office and he called the president “often poorly informed” and “impulsive in his speech and conduct.”
McCain’s call for congressional order comes as Americans have deeply unfavorable view of both the Senate and House of Representatives. A Fox News poll released earlier this week showed that only 15 percent of people polled approved of Congress’ job performance and the numbers were not kind to Trump either.
Trump has also called out McCain in recent weeks. During his much-criticized campaign-style speech in Arizona last week, Trump called out McCain for being one of the deciding votes that sunk the Republicans efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“We were one vote away,” Trump said, referencing McCain. “But you know, they all said… please, Mr. President, don’t mention any names. So, I won’t, I won’t. One vote away, I won’t mention any names. Very presidential, isn’t it?”
You can read all of McCain’s op-ed here.