WASHINGTON — If John McCain has his way, the Arizona Republican will spend most of his 80s in the Senate.
McCain’s announcement this week that he will seek a sixth Senate term may not have surprised those familiar with his schedule and marathon Senate Armed Services Committee hearings — he boasted convincingly of 18-hour workdays — and it means one of the loudest Capitol Hill voices on military issues could remain firmly in place.
The decision comes as McCain and other hawks in the Senate are pressing for big increases in the Defense Department budget and wrangling with fiscal conservatives who support mandatory spending caps to decrease federal spending and debt. It is a debate on U.S. spending priorities that has defied quick solutions.
“There is a faction within the Republican party that is more concerned about fiscal matters than they are about defense,” Jerry Mayer, associate professor in the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University.