skip to main content

 
Sen. John McCain

Former Senator for Arizona

pronounced jon // muh-KAYN

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))
Photo of Sen. John McCain [R-AZ, 1987-2018]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2017 Report Card for McCain.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

McCain is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills McCain has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Enacted Legislation

McCain was the primary sponsor of 53 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

View All »

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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

McCain sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Armed Forces and National Security (34%) Immigration (12%) Crime and Law Enforcement (12%) Health (10%) International Affairs (10%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (9%) Native Americans (7%) Transportation and Public Works (6%)

Recent Bills

Some of McCain’s most recently sponsored bills include...

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Voting Record

Key Votes

McCain’s Vote Vote Description
Nay H.J.Res. 123: Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes.
Dec 7, 2017. Joint Resolution Passed 81/14.
Yea H.J.Res. 43: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating ...
Mar 30, 2017. Joint Resolution Passed 51/50.
Joe Biden never got the opportunity to break a single 50-50 Senate tie in eight years as vice president. Mike Pence has already broken two. One from last month has since become law: a measure allowing states to withhold federal Planned Parenthood funding. (The other ...
Nay S. 612: WIIN Act
Dec 10, 2016. Motion Agreed to 78/21.
Nay H.R. 2028: Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017
Dec 9, 2016. Motion Agreed to 63/36.
The Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 2028) is a continuing resolution that extended fiscal year 2017 funding for the United States federal government from December 9, 2016 until April 28, 2017. The bill contains a boost to defense spending as well ...
Yea H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations bill which extended funding at the previous year's levels up to December 9, 2016 (10 weeks). After this, a continuing ...
Yea H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
Yea H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 18, 2014. Joint Resolution Passed 78/22.
Nay On the Nomination PN399: Susan Owens Hickey, of Arkansas, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas
Oct 13, 2011. Nomination Confirmed 83/8.
Nay H.R. 1249 (112th): Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Sep 8, 2011. Bill Passed 89/9.
The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant legislative change to the U.S. patent system since the ...
Yea H.R. 4853 (111th): Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
Dec 15, 2010. Motion Agreed to 81/19.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known as the 2010 Tax Relief Act, was passed by the United States Congress on December 16, 2010, and signed into ...
Nay On the Nomination PN177: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., in the Army, to be General
Feb 8, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 83/14.

Missed Votes

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.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: