McCain was a senator from Arizona and was a Republican. He served from 1987 to 2018.
He was previously the representative for Arizona’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1983 to 1986.
Alleged misconduct & resolution
In 1989, Sen. McCain was accused of improperly intervening with federal banking regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, Jr. and his savings and loan business. In 1991, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics published a report in which charges were dismissed even though they did indicate that McCain had demonstrated poor judgement in attending a meeting with federal regulators on Keating's behalf. McCain remained in the Senate until his death in 2018. In the intervening years, he testified against Keating (the only one of the five to do so) in a civil trial and became an advocate of campaign finance reform.
|Nov. 20, 1991||Senate Select Committee on Ethics published a report in which charges were dismissed (Senate Select Comm. on Ethics, Investigation of Sen. Alan Cranston, S. Rep. 102-223, 102d Cong., 1st Sess. (1991))|
Read our 2017 Report Card for McCain.
McCain is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2019 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills McCain sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2013 to Jan 2, 2019. See full analysis methodology.
McCain was the primary sponsor of 53 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 772 (115th): Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act
- S. 829 (115th): AFG and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act of 2017
- S. 84 (115th): A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as …
- S. 2943 (114th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017
- S. 167 (114th): Clay Hunt SAV Act
- S. 201 (112th): A bill to clarify the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the C.C. Cragin Dam and Reservoir, and for other purposes.
- S. 188 (112th): A bill to designate the United States courthouse under construction at 98 West First Street, Yuma, Arizona, as the “John M. Roll United States Courthouse”.
Does 53 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.
We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
McCain sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:
Armed Forces and National Security (34%) Crime and Law Enforcement (12%) Immigration (12%) Health (10%) International Affairs (10%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (9%) Native Americans (7%) Transportation and Public Works (6%)
Recently Introduced Bills
McCain recently introduced the following legislation:
- S. 2184 (115th): Veterans Community Care and Access Act of 2017
- S. 2060 (115th): Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2018
- S.Res. 279 (115th): A resolution reaffirming the commitment of the United States to promote democracy, …
- S. 1894 (115th): A bill to exempt Puerto Rico from the coastwise laws of the …
- S. 1561 (115th): Open America’s Waters Act of 2017
- S. 1527 (115th): Protecting Access to Care for Veterans Act of 2017
- S. 1519 (115th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.
From Jan 1987 to Aug 2018, McCain missed 1,220 of 10,383 roll call votes, which is 11.7%. This is much worse than the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Aug 2018. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- The House and Senate websites, for committee membership and voting records
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- GPO Member Guide for the photo
- GovInfo.gov, for sponsored bills