Reid calls McCain out for skipping votes

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday questioned Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainStephen Miller hits Sunday show to defend Trump against racism charges Michelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Meghan McCain shares story of miscarriage MORE (R-Ariz.) for not scheduling time away from his presidential campaign to participate in Senate votes.

With 56 days left until Election Day, Reid used an afternoon press conference to note that McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, is not planning to attend the Senate’s debate this week on the Department of Defense policy bill.

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Sen. McCain is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the defense authorization bill. But Reid questioned McCain for likely missing other legislative business on energy and housing later this month.

Reid did not raise the likely absence of Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump struggles to win over voters reaping economic boom Michelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (Ill.), the Democratic presidential candidate, or Sen. Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Biden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report MORE (D-Del.), Obama’s running mate, from votes.

"Right now the apparent head of the Republican Party is John McCain. John McCain is a member of the United States Senate. He's been absent as to his person and his leadership in the Senate," Reid said. "Does anyone ever hear Sen. McCain offer an opinion on what should be done? Where is he on the defense authorization bill? Not a word have we heard from this so-called leader of the Republican Party.”

Reid also expanded his attack to criticize McCain for his absence on the chamber's energy and housing debates.

"John McCain talks about changing Washington, which is good for him, but he's done nothing to change what's happened to this country over the last eight years," Reid said.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds would not comment.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Election security to take back seat at Mueller hearing McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE (R-Ky.), however, defended McCain for downplaying his Senate record, noting that under Democratic control, the current Congress has chosen to avoid the spirit of bipartisanship that allowed President Ronald Reagan and former House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill to work together on Social Security legislation in the 1980s and President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report Major health reform requires Democratic congressional dominance No presidential candidate can unite the country MORE and congressional Republicans to work together on welfare reform in the 1990s.

"I think Sen. McCain ought to run against this Congress. This has been one of the least-accomplished Congresses in modern times," McConnell said. "The majority in the Senate and the majority in the House have basically thumbed their nose at the minority. There's been a complete lack of compromise. … Divided government has not always been so incompetent."