McCain to vote ‘yes’ on 2018 budget

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he intends to vote for the 2018 budget resolution, all but assuring that the measure will pass without incident this week.

McCain had been holding out support based on an insistence that defense spending increase by billions of dollars.

“For too long, draconian budget cuts to the military have crippled readiness and put the lives of our service members in danger,” McCain said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we all know that the Senate budget resolution will not impact final appropriations.”


Final spending numbers for the year are expected to be negotiated between congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House ahead of a Dec. 8 funding deadline.

For Republicans, the budget is mainly a vehicle for circumventing a Senate filibuster on tax reform through a special procedure called reconciliation.

McCain said that tax reform was the central reason he would support the budget.

The Arizona Republican’s decision came after a public feud with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who had blasted McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for their military spending demands.

With nearly all of the GOP senators known to buck their party agreeing on the resolution, Paul seems unlikely to be able to push his demand to cut $43 billion worth of “off-book” defense spending, or block the resolution’s passage.

Those chances were further eroded when Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who had been absent for weeks for medical reasons, returned to the Senate on Tuesday, giving the GOP more breathing room to advance the resolution. 

Tags 2018 budget John McCain John McCain Lindsey Graham Rand Paul Thad Cochran

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