Think Life in a Filibuster-Free Senate Will Drive John McCain Into Retirement? Think Again.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) talks with reporters after the Senate voted 52-48 to invoke the so-called 'nuclear option. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) talks with reporters after the Senate voted 52-48 to invoke the so-called ‘nuclear option. McCain hinted to Defense News that the rule change could lead him to seek a sixth term. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Senate’s “maverick”, John McCain, was angry Thursday, repeatedly lamenting Democratic leaders for ditching the famed filibuster for judicial and executive branch nominees.

But if you think the “nuclear option” is a last straw for the longtime Arizona Republican that will prevent the 79-year-old, five-term senator to opt against running for another term, think again.

McCain worked to prevent a frustrated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the so-called “nuclear option,” meeting on and off “for two weeks’ — including an hour-long Wednesday session — with the Nevada Democrat and others.

McCain himself was clearly frustrated Thursday as he spoke to reporters, declaring that “if the majority only can change the rules, then there are no rules.”

Reid’s move is the latest step in the Senate’s slow march to bitter partisanship and legislative deadlock.

Defense News asked McCain on Thursday whether the prospect of an even more partisan Senate that lacks a minority-empowering filibuster would affect his coming reelection decision.

“Oh, no,” he said with a chuckle. “It fires me up!”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett
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