Congressional Leaders: Rising Debt and the Legislative Agenda

May 23, 2017

In a series of one-on-one interviews, House and Senate Congressional leaders explored the connection between America’s rising national debt and a crowded legislative agenda. The major areas of reform — including healthcare reform, tax reform, infrastructure, trade and more — all have significant fiscal implications. These timely conversations centered on ways to craft policy solutions that are both fiscally responsible and supportive of economic growth.

This interview with Senator John S. McCain (R-AZ) was conducted by CNN's Dana Bash as part of the 2017 Fiscal Summit.

Other installments in this series include interviews with:

Senator John S. McCain (R-AZ), Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

(R-AZ) Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

John McCain entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954. He served in the United States Navy until 1981.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election.

He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN

Dana Bash is CNN’s chief political correspondent based in Washington, D.C., and serves as the network’s lead reporter covering both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. She was the primary reporter covering the 2016 Republican field of presidential candidates and also continues to regularly serve as a moderator for CNN’s political town hall specials.

Additionally, as the network’s chief political correspondent, Bash played a key role in CNN’s 2016 presidential primary debates, serving as a questioner in six of the network’s seven primetime primary debates on both sides of the aisle. Bash also serves as a co-anchor on set in the CNN Election Center for all election night specials and is the primary fill-in anchor for Jake Tapper on CNN’s premier political show, State of the Union.

As part of her coverage of the 2016 presidential campaigns, Bash has conducted sit-down interviews with majority of the candidates including Donald Trump, Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders, and Governors Jeb Bush and John Kasich. In addition, Bash secured several extensive interviews with the candidates’ families and spouses including the first interview with Kasich’s wife and daughters; Heidi Cruz, exploring her role in her husband’s campaign; Governor Scott Walker’s two sons before announcing his presidential bid; and Frank Fiorina, husband of the only woman who ran for the Republican nomination.

Bash also continues to be instrumental to the network’s Capitol Hill coverage. In 2015, she broke news on live television that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would not be running for Speaker of the House and also conducted Speaker John Boehner’s final interview on his last day in office. Bash also served as the lead correspondent covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Bash graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in political communications from The George Washington University.

Follow Dana on Twitter: @DanaBashCNN.


A new statement urging policymakers to stabilize our national debt and renew and rebalance our national security strategies.


Video: Our tax code is complex, unfair, and insufficient. Learn more about the opportunity we have to reform and improve tax policy.