US Senator (1986-present)
US Congressman (1982-1986)
US Navy (1958-1981)
Congressional Website: http://mccain.senate.gov/
Campaign Website: http://www.johnmccain.com/
McCain has a generally pro-life record, but with some exceptions. According to National Right to Life, he votes pro-life the majority of the time. However, he has also voted for federal funding for the destruction of human embryos and fetal tissue research. He has also said several things that call into question his commitment to the cause.
"I'd love to see a point where it (Roe v. Wade) is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."
He has more recently said that he would support overturning Roe.
McCain takes a hawkish neoconservative line on foreign policy. He has been a staunch advocate of the war in Iraq. He has advocated more troops in Iraq. He advocates a neoconservative "commitment to revolutionary democratic change" and accuses those who question the universal belief in freedom and democracy of "cultural bigotry".
McCain has a mixed record on gun rights. He has voted against the "assault weapons ban" and for restricting anti-gun lawsuits. He has also sponsored a bill with Joe Lieberman to impose drastic regulations that according to pro-gun groups would essentially ban gun shows. More information on the bill is available from the National Rifle Association. Gun Owners of America has given McCain an F- rating for the last two Congresses. Author John Lott provides more information on McCain's record.
McCain has advocated higher immigration levels, amnesty, and a "guest worker" program. He said that "Everyone in the world should have the opportunity through an orderly process to come to this country." He believes that immigrants do "jobs that Americans won't do." He opposes ballot initiatives to restrict immigration and advocates more government spending for legal immigrants. He voted to allow illegal immigrants to receive Social Security benefits.
He sponsored the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill with Senator Ted Kennedy. McCain supports creating a "guest worker program" and "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants already in America. This amounts to amnesty and a reward (citizenship) for lawbreakers. In the Senate, he voted for a bill that would allow in more than 100 million immigrants in the next 20 years. It would also cost $500 billion in welfare payments within 20 years.
His record has been profiled by Numbers USA and Americans for Better Immigration.
McCain has been a staunch opponent on the Federal Marriage Amendment. He supported an Arizona ballot initiative that would have prevented "gay marriage". He made a confusing statement that seemed to endorse "civil unions", which are the same as "gay marriage" in all but name.
McCain's biggest legislative effort was "campaign finance reform", the McCain-Feingold bill. This bill imposes significant restrictions on political speech. It bans groups from running advertisements that mention a candidate for federal office within sixty days of an election. Critics contend that the goal of the legislation was to silence criticism of Congress. As Senator McCain put it, "These ads are direct, blatant attacks on the candidates. We don't think that's right." He has also supported legislation to require grassroots groups to register their communications.
McCain sponsored the McCain-Lieberman "Climate Stewardship Act" to fight the supposed dangers of global warming. This was "projected to cost $76 billion annually by 2025."
He voted against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
McCain sponsored the "Patients Bill of Rights" with Ted Kennedy and John Edwards. This would have imposed more regulation on health care and facilitated more lawsuits.
McCain has stated that the United Nations "is a vital organization to the world and to the national interests of the United States." He wants to make it "stronger and better." He advocated passage of the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which would have given the UN the power to tax, and significant control over the seas.
He has consistently supported "free trade agreements" that impose more government regulation on America. He voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He supports the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
McCain has generally opposed increases in government spending. He was one of only a handful of Republican votes against the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which has a present value cost of 22 trillion dollars. He has actively campaigned against earmarks, which are spending projects added to bills by specific congressmen.
McCain largely supports existing government programs. His list of budgetary priorities shows that he would maintain or slightly increase spending for most programs. He voted for the No Child Left Behind act, which included a large increase in government education spending.
McCain was one of only two Republican Senators to vote against the Bush tax cuts in 2001. He also voted against the 2003 tax cuts. He voted for a tax increase on cigarettes in 1998. He has employed class warfare rhetoric:
"I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief."On other occasions, he has voted for tax cuts, including extending the Bush tax cuts in 2006.
McCain was involved in the Keating Five scandal. He divorced and remarried in 1980. He is widely reputed to have a hot temper.
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