Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) bucked President Trump in an op-ed on Thursday, saying Congress does not answer to him, despite his recent attacks on the lawmakers.
“We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people,” McCain wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
“We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation,” he continued.
McCain called for “a return to regular order” in the piece, which he said was in part essential due to the fact “Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”
The veteran senator’s comments come as Congress faces gridlock and extremely low approval ratings from the public, as both chambers attempt to tackle tax reform after Senate Republican’s failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
A new Fox News poll found that only 15 percent of voters polled approved of the job Congress was doing.
Trump has taken to publicly criticizing his lawmakers recently, most notably taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed!That should NEVER have happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2017
Trump also took aim at McCain and fellow Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) at a rally in Arizona.
His attacks come as Congress is set to return from August recess, and Republicans will look to work with Trump on tax reform.