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April 24, 2014

Posts in "John McCain"

April 14, 2014

Obama Not Considering Arms to Ukraine, Plans to Call Putin

luncheons014 040814 445x301 Obama Not Considering Arms to Ukraine, Plans to Call Putin

McCain is one senator who called for lethal aid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators in both parties have said arms for Ukraine should be on the table as that country faces down a threat from Russian President Vladimir Putin, but President Barack Obama has no plans to go there.

“We’re not actively considering lethal aid,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Instead, the administration seems intent on letting the threat of much broader economic sanctions dissuade Putin from a further invasion — and Carney signaled the president would call Putin later today.

Carney, however, denied that the dispute with Russia amounted to another Cold War.

Russia is not the Soviet Union, and there is no longer a Warsaw Pact, he said.

“Russia is a regional power to be sure,” Carney added, but he declined to answer whether Russia represented a threat to the United States. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 3:04 p.m.
John McCain

April 8, 2014

McCain, Kerry Have Tense Exchange at Foreign Relations Hearing (Video)

Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration’s foreign policy in a heated exchange at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Tuesday.

“I must say, I think you’re about to hit the trifecta,” McCain told Kerry, citing the ongoing conflict in Syria, the seemingly stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the uncertain nuclear deal with Iran, which McCain predicted would collapse.

McCain further lambasted Kerry, who was testifying on the administration’s national security and foreign policy budget priorities, on failing to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, saying the failure to do so was “beyond logic.”

“On the issue of Ukraine, my hero, Teddy Roosevelt, used to say talk softly, but carry a big stick,” said the Arizona Republican. “What you’re doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick, in fact, a twig.” Full story

March 28, 2014

Jeremiah Denton, Former Alabama Senator and Vietnam P.O.W., dies at 89

Jeremiah Denton, former Alabama Senator and a Vietnam War hero, died of heart problems Friday morning at the age of 89.

According to the Associated Press, family members surrounded Denton when he passed away at 8 a.m. at a Hospice facility in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Mobile, Ala., native was elected to the Senate in 1980 — the first Republican to represent Alabama since Reconstruction.  During his one term in the Senate, Denton established himself as a staunch social conservative.  Denton narrowly lost his 1986 reelection bid to then-Democrat Richard C. Shelby. Full story

March 24, 2014

Ukraine Aid Advances in Senate but Cruz, Barrasso Push for Votes on Amendments

A bill to provide aid to Ukraine cleared a procedural vote Monday evening, as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, signaled he would not object to expediting the bill if he gets a vote on an amendment striking the International Monetary Fund provision.

But Senate Democrats may not have an incentive to allow any amendments votes on the bill given that they likely have the 60 votes needed to clear any procedural hurdles. If both sides stand their ground, that would mean the Senate would likely next vote around midnight Tuesday.

“Its silly that we are running the [cloture] clock when we got 78 votes” to advance the bill, said a senior Senate Democratic aide. Full story

March 18, 2014

McCain Seeks Military Aid for Ukraine After Russia Annexes Crimea

After Russia’s announcement that it has annexed Crimea, Sen. John McCain called for a series of responses, including providing modest military assistance to Ukraine and passing a bipartisan Ukrainian aid package.

“In response to the Russian government’s annexation of Crimea today, the United States should provide greater support to Ukraine and impose additional costs on Russia,” the Arizona Republican said in a release. “The United States and our allies and partners must remain committed to supporting the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which includes Crimea.” Full story

March 17, 2014

McCain Demands Firmer Obama Ukraine Response

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,  ripped the White House Monday for not taking a firmer stand against Russia following the announcement of sanctions against eleven Russian and Ukrainian people.

“This president’s response, I don’t know how it could have been weaker besides doing nothing,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.

“Vladimir Putin must be encouraged [by] the absolute timidity, ” McCain said.

“The president should have said we are going to provide military assistance to Ukraine and that will be in defensive weaponry,” McCain continued. “But to not do that after this country has lost a large part of its territory due to Russian aggression … it makes me less optimistic about Putin exercising restraint in eastern Ukraine.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said in response to McCain’s criticism that the senator’s opinion of the President Obama’s performance has “fluctuated … every several days.” Full story

March 14, 2014

McCain Suggests Russians Will Someday Oust Putin

mccain031414 445x322 McCain Suggests Russians Will Someday Oust Putin

(Yury Kirnichny/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain implied Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will one day have to run away from Moscow.

“The United States must look beyond Mr. Putin. His regime may appear imposing, but it is rotting inside. His Russia is not a great power on par with America. It is a gas station run by a corrupt, autocratic regime,” McCain wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times. “And eventually, Russians will come for Mr. Putin in the same way and for the same reasons that Ukrainians came for Viktor F. Yanukovych.”

Yanukovych left the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in February, which set off a flurry of events that have led to the current tension, with a widely-dismissed vote scheduled for Sunday on the future political status of the region of Crimea.

Full story

March 13, 2014

McCain Rails GOP on Ukraine Bill: ‘Don’t Call Yourself Reagan Republicans’ (Video)

Sen. John McCain hammered Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday for refusing to pass by unanimous consent a Senate Foreign Relation Committee bill which would provide economic aid while imposing sanctions on Russia.

“What has happened? Where are our priorities? You can call yourself Republicans, that’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans,” the Arizona Republican said.

Full story

March 7, 2014

McCain: Cruz’s Criticism of Bob Dole Crossed a Line

mccain 328 103013 445x293 McCain: Cruzs Criticism of Bob Dole Crossed a Line

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain said Friday he told Sen. Ted Cruz that the Texas Republican’s criticism of former Majority Leader Bob Dole in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference crossed a line.

In an interview on MSNBC, McCain said he confronted Cruz on the Senate floor about the freshman’s CPAC comments from Thursday, in which Cruz called out Dole, McCain and Mitt Romney — the party’s last three unsuccessful presidential nominees.

“I spoke to Ted Cruz — he and I have a cordial relationship — about this, and he can say what he wants about me, and he can say anything he wants to, I think, about Mitt,” the Arizona Republican said. “But when he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country? Bob Dole is such a man of honor and integrity and principle.”

Full story

March 4, 2014

McCain Raises Prospect of Russian Incursion Into Poland (Updated) (Video)

mccain 028 090413 445x303 McCain Raises Prospect of Russian Incursion Into Poland (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain warned that the United States and Europe should avoid allowing Russia to set a precedent in Ukraine that could be later used for an incursion into Poland.

“If Vladimir Putin gets away with saying he’s defending the rights of Russian speaking peoples, that is the same thing — excuse that Hitler used,” the Arizona Republican said, invoking arguments made by Nazi Germany about the ethnic German population of the Sudetenland.

McCain has long been among the Senate’s most strident critics of Putin, repeatedly criticizing the Obama administration’s views about the Russian president.

“There are … Russian-speaking people in Poland. There’s … Russian speaking-people in Romania,” McCain said. “There’s plenty of places where he may feel he has to intervene … on behalf of Russian-speaking people.”

Full story

February 4, 2014

Hoffman Overdose Prompts Congressional Scrutiny of Heroin Usage Spike

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(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A high-profile overdose and the spike in heroin-related addiction has caught the attention of Congress. And now, lawmakers may crack down.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday called heroin an affliction on the nation, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy said he plans to hold a hearing that focuses on law enforcement, because the drug has become an increasing problem in his home state of Vermont.

“The headlines over the last couple of days have been the death of — in my opinion — one of the great actors of our time, Philip Seymour Hoffman,” Reid said. “He died of a drug overdose of heroin.”

The Nevada Democrat made a point to discuss the topic while Leahy was on the floor, given the rise of heroin usage in the Green Mountain State. Reid noted that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has called the issue a crisis that spreads addiction and crime.

Full story

February 3, 2014

Senate Thaw Depends on Reid, Republicans Say

Senate Republicans say there could be a thaw this year in the chamber’s frosty interparty relations if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid begins to loosen his iron grip on floor amendments.

“I’m very optimistic,” Susan Collins told CQ Roll Call after the Senate passed a bipartisan flood insurance bill. “I think we’ve had a good beginning, and, as long as Sen. Reid agrees to open up the amendment process, I’m optimistic that we can get we can actually get a lot done.”

The Maine Republican has been talking to Democrats about extending unemployment insurance benefits and there certainly is no shortage of other modest agenda items that could find their way through the Senate this year — or end up as partisan chum for the election.

“I think today was a good step in the right direction,” Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said on Jan. 30, before final passage on flood insurance. “We didn’t have the unfettered amendment process that the Senate traditionally has had. But we had amendments and we just about doubled the Republican votes on amendments from July to today.”

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also suggested the flood bill agreement could be a sign of things to come. “Whether it’s an aberration or not, time will tell. But yes, something to celebrate.”

There’s a bigger celebration expected this week, as the Senate acts to clear the long-awaited, nearly $1 trillion farm bill, much of which is for nutrition programs including food stamps.

Full story

January 21, 2014

McCain Says Obama Is Worse Than Carter

“I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

That’s what Sen. John McCain said Tuesday, speaking about the Syria policy of President Barack Obama’s administration. The Arizona Republican went further, saying the Syria situation could ultimately pose a terrorist threat to the United States. McCain made his comments during a wide-ranging interview on the Phoenix radio station KFYI.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict. It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida,” McCain said. “I have never seen anything like this in my life. I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but he pales in comparison to this president in my view.”

Full story

January 17, 2014

McCain Wants to Create Senate Committee to Examine NSA

mccain 328 103013 445x293 McCain Wants to Create Senate Committee to Examine NSA

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is planning legislation that would create a select committee to examine intelligence issues, including those raised in President Barack Obama’s speech Friday.

“The vital issues at stake here are complex, broad and cut across many areas of jurisdiction of established congressional committees, including national security, intelligence, technology, commerce, foreign affairs and privacy,” McCain said. “That is why we will introduce legislation to establish a Senate Select Committee to examine all of these important issues and questions.”

Chairmen and ranking members often oppose creation of new select committees because they infringe on their already established turf.

Full story

January 16, 2014

McCain: Putting Drone Language in Classified Omnibus Annex ‘Outrageous’

mccain 028 090413 445x303 McCain: Putting Drone Language in Classified Omnibus Annex Outrageous

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain is incensed about a report that says the omnibus spending bill essentially blocks the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Pentagon.

The Arizona Republican, who is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, says he was not advised of the inclusion of any such provision in the classified annex that accompanies the Defense Department portion of the $1.1 trillion catch-all discretionary spending bill. The Washington Post wrote about the provisions on Wednesday night, after the House had already easily passed the legislation.

“It’s one of the most outrageous violations of … the authority of the authorizing committees. This is clearly an issue for the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and I’ve talked to members of the Appropriations Committee that didn’t even know this was in,” McCain said. “You can’t do business like this.

Full story

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