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McCain: Deal could be reached if lawmakers stopped ‘attacking each other’

Lawmakers are still at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for a week now. House Republicans have tried to use the funding measure to defund and repeal parts of ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats have said the House needs to pass a “clean” CR without any riders.

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McCain criticized some within his party for deceiving the public by suggesting Republicans could force the repeal ObamaCare. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) launched the recent fight against ObamaCare.

“We started out with a false premise here on this side of the aisle and that’s that we were somehow going to repeal ObamaCare,” McCain said. “To think that we’re going to repeal ObamaCare … was a false premise, and I think did the American people a great disservice by telling them that we could.”

Another fiscal problem quickly approaching is the debt ceiling, which the Department of the Treasury has said needs to be raised by the end of the month or else the government would default on its obligations.

McCain urged his colleagues to find a way out of both “dead ends” — stalemates on the debt ceiling and reopening the government. He suggested lawmakers start by considering a repeal of the medical device tax; many Democrats also oppose the tax.

“We know how it’s going to end — sooner or later, the government is going to resume its function,” McCain said. “The question is how we get there … so why don’t we do this sooner than later.”

It's unclear where the fight will go from here as each side becomes more entrenched.