Sen. John McCain Wednesday doubled down on his criticism about how the bill to replace and repeal Obamacare is being crafted behind closed doors, and said as things stand now, he does not know enough about the healthcare bill to vote for it.
"We need to come out with what we stand for and what we believe and how we are going to implement it," the Arizona Republican told Fox News' "Happening Now" program. "That's the way democracy is supposed to work, and I'm very disappointed that we haven't."
There is still time to make the plan public, said McCain, who emphasized that he is not ready to "just go to the floor and have a bunch of us [say] we took care of what is basically one-fifth of America's GDP."
The veteran senator said he'd like to see a "vigorous debate and amendments on the floor of the Senate" before there is a vote on it, and that he would like to have been more involved in creating it.
"I think we need to have vigorous debate and amendments on the floor of the Senate," McCain said. "That's what we're supposed to be all about."
On Tuesday, the senator told Bloomberg News that he has not seen the bill, and has not "met any American that has." However, he continued, "I'm sure the Russians have been able to hack in and [have] gotten most of it."
McCain on Wednesday also called for action against Russia for trying to "affect the outcome of our election."
"I have seen no evidence that they were able to, but they tried," he said.
The Senate passed a "very strong bill by a vote of 98-2" to put new sanctions on Russia, but the House parliamentarian flagged the legislation as a "blue slip" violation, pointing to a constitutional requirement that the House originates revenue bills.
"I was very disappointed to hear some parliamentary problems over at the House of Representatives," said McCain."I hope we can get that issue resolved ... we have seen no action whatsoever. That sends the wrong message to the people like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin."
He said the Senate needs to take the bill from the House, send it to the president and I hope he would sign it, "but if he didn't, his veto would be overridden."
McCain also said he believes people on Capitol Hill are discovering again that Russia is not a friend of the United States, but part of that is because for eight years under former President Barack Obama, there was no strategy for Russia's attacks.
"We need a strategy, we need a policy and very frankly, I've been very disappointed that Gen. [James] Mattis, who I admire, and Gen. H.R. McMaster who I greatly admire, they haven't come forward with a strategy," said McCain of the defense secretary and national security adviser.
"I've been telling them, I want a strategy," he continued. "I'm not about to send more Americans into harm's way without a strategy for victory. What we have had for the last eight years was a strategy for not losing. By the way, we are losing."
The senator also commented about the death of former North Korea prisoner Otto Warmbier, who died days after returning home, in a coma, to the United States.
"We need to examine all of our options," said McCain. "This inhumane treatment is obviously something that cannot go unresponded to. I think we have to be careful, I think we have to be calibrated, and I think we also have to keep in mind that within market range of the DMZ, the boundary between North and South Korea as a whole bunch of rockets that could hit a city of 26 million people, i.e., Seoul. We need to approach it very carefully."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.