Obama, McCain Working Together on Good Government Bill


From the Hill:

Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are quietly working together on a good-government bill despite their campaign-trail battle over who is tougher against Washington’s special interests.

McCain’s Senate office contacted Obama’s office Monday night asking to sign on to a bill opening federal government contracts to public scrutiny, according to three knowledgeable sources.

Before the call, Obama had been working on the measure primarily with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), an ardent proponent of eliminating wasteful government spending and an early supporter and longtime Senate ally of McCain’s.

After learning that Obama and Coburn were introducing the bill without his backing, McCain’s staffers immediately contacted Coburn to express concern and a desire to be named as an original co-sponsor of the update. They then called Obama’s office.

Obama staffers were happy to comply with McCain’s request to sign on, an Obama adviser said, because they knew support from the two presumptive nominees could propel the legislation to passage in the final months of a packed legislative schedule.

Coburn’s reason for why he didn’t bring McCain on from the beginning? “I’m not good at politics,” he told the Hill. “I never have been.” Ha.

Anyway, good for Sens. Obama and McCain. They deserve kudos not just for working together in a time when they are competitors, but also for pushing part of the good government agenda. Now they should tackle the rest of it.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.