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John McCain announces he will back the budget resolution

  • Arizona Senator McCain announced he would be backing the bill on Tuesday
  • Republicans also saw Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran return after being ill
  • Without the support of the two senators, Republicans could only have afforded to lose one other vote in order to pass a budget resolution 
  • The budget resolution needs to be passed in the Senate first so the GOP can take advantage of a rule that would allow for a majority vote on tax reform

By Nikki Schwab U.s Political Reporter and Mary Kekatos For Dailymail.com

Published: 00:12 EDT, 18 October 2017 | Updated: 00:12 EDT, 18 October 2017

Senator John McCain (R- Arizona) announced on Tuesday he will back the Senate's budget resolution this week to help with tax cuts.

While it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass, the backing is crucial as the Republican-controlled Senate needs the proposal to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year.

Republicans earned another victory in the return of Senator Thad Cochran (R -Mississippi) who went back to Capitol Hill after being out sick for weeks with urological problems.

If passed in both the House and the Senate, the budget resolution would allow Republicans to pass a tax reform package without needing 60 votes in the Senate, as they only have 52. 

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Senator John McCain of Arizona (pictured, Tuesday) announced on Tuesday he will back the Senate's budget resolution this week to help with tax cuts.
Senator John McCain of Arizona (pictured, Tuesday) announced on Tuesday he will back the Senate's budget resolution this week to help with tax cuts.

Senator John McCain of Arizona (pictured, Tuesday) announced on Tuesday he will back the Senate's budget resolution this week to help with tax cuts.

While it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass, the backing is crucial as the Republican-controlled Senate needs the proposal to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year. 
While it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass, the backing is crucial as the Republican-controlled Senate needs the proposal to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year. 

While it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass, the backing is crucial as the Republican-controlled Senate needs the proposal to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year. 

The president explained the scenario Tuesday morning during an interview on Fox News radio. 

'Well, it's very important. I mean we need the budget, we need the passage,' Trump said. 'We have Thad Cochran, as you know, is not feeling so great. He may not be able to vote.'

'We don't know what John McCain's going to do,' the president mentioned. 

'We have a couple of others that maybe could disappoint us, but maybe they won't,' Trump also said.   

The president had taken Paul golfing on Sunday, in a likely effort to sway his vote. 

'I've had a great relationship with Rand Paul, and I think he's going to be with us,' Trump said. 'I think in the end he's going to be with us. I hope John McCain's going to be with us, we just don't know yet,' the president said, bringing up McCain again. 

The problem is that it would be difficult to get a budget resolution passed that would attract both McCain and Paul's support.  

'Senators McCain and Graham are torpedoing the budget by insisting on busting the budget caps for more spending,' Paul tweeted Tuesday morning.

When Trump's White House has offered a budget proposal this spring, which moved non-defense spending over to defense – appalling Democrats with its domestic cuts – McCain said the military still wasn't getting enough. 

Paul, on the other hand, is very skeptical of more government spending, prescribing to the less-is-better approach. 

Sen. John McCain's maverick tour continued Monday night as he spoke in Philadelphia about 'half-baked, spurious nationalism,' considered a condemnation of President Trump  
Sen. John McCain's maverick tour continued Monday night as he spoke in Philadelphia about 'half-baked, spurious nationalism,' considered a condemnation of President Trump  

Sen. John McCain's maverick tour continued Monday night as he spoke in Philadelphia about 'half-baked, spurious nationalism,' considered a condemnation of President Trump  

'I have told the White House and GOP leaders that if they simply stick to their own caps, the rest of the Budget is fine and I'll vote yes,' Paul wrote. 

'It is a simple, but important, change they could easily make. The ball is in their court,' the senator wrote. 

Before this, both McCain and Paul had stayed in line during the budget's first test Tuesday, a simple motion to proceed, which would open up debate.

There, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R - Kentucky) celebrated a small victory earning a strict party-line vote in its favor 50-47. 

Cochran and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., didn't vote, along with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who's on trial for corruption. 

Menendez's situation could help Republicans if McCain revolts and he can't make it back to D.C. to vote, as his absent would essentially cancel out Cochran's. 

Also good news, some usually wary senators  have already indicated that they planned to come on board.

For instance, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine – who helped McCain derail the Obamacare 'skinny' repeal –said she was a likely yes vote on the budget resolution. 

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been engaged in a public feud with the president since earlier this month, pointed out the fact to Politico Monday that he had voted for it out o committee.

'I look at this solely as a tax reform vehicle, and I don't want to see deficits in the actual tax bill, OK?' said Corker, who's considered among the fiscal hawks of the Senate. 

'But as far as voting for a budget that allows that to go ahead, I'm fine with that,' Corker said.  

Meanwhile McCain missed Monday night votes in order to travel to Philadelphia and accept the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal. 

The event served as the latest stop on McCain's maverick tour, which began when he returned to the Senate in July, chided his fellow senators for 'getting nothing done,' and then cast his pivotal no vote against the Republicans' 'skinny' Obamacare repeal, killing it.

Last night, in a bipartisan gesture, he was given his award by former Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime Democratic colleague of McCain's in the Senate.

In his remarks, McCain said, 'To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope on earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is an unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.' 

The remarks were interpreted as a condemnation of Trump and the forces that got him elected last year. 

The president participated in a 'radio row'-type event Tuesday at the White House as a way to sell tax reform. 

By the time he talked to WMAL, his fifth interview of the morning, he was in a sparring mood when McCain's comments came up – despite the fact that he'll, again, need the Arizona Republican's vote. 

'I hear everything,' Trump said, according to Bloomberg News. 'People have to be careful because at some point I fight back.'  


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