How John McCain Worked

By: Josh Clark & Kathryn Whitbourne

Voting Record of John McCain: Immigration and Health Care

John McCain after passage of generic prescription bill.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer listens as John McCain speaks on the passage of a generic prescription bill in July 2002.
Mike Theiler/Getty Images


  • McCain voted in favor of S. Amendment 1348 in 2007, a successful bill that declares English the national language of the U.S. government [source: Project Vote Smart].
  • Also in 2007, McCain voted against a failed amendment (S. Amdt. 2339) allowing more aliens with extraordinary skills or abilities to enter the country than the current limit [source: U.S. Senate].
  • McCain voted against killing an amendment in 2007 (S. Amdt. 3313) that would have set aside $75 million for funding of state and local law enforcement to combat illegal immigration [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against S. Amdt. 1197 in 2007, which would have required health care be provided for undocumented aliens with Z visas. The bill would have also allowed them to work in the United States while the government looks at their status [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against S. Amdt. 4114 in 2006, which grants visas to immigrants with advanced degrees [source: U.S. Senate].
  • McCain voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061), which granted $1.2 billion for the construction of a 700-mile (1,127-km) fence along the border with Mexico [source: The Washington Post].
  • He voted to kill S. Amdt. 2417 in 1998, which would have prevented employers from hiring a foreign worker within six months of laying off an American worker with similar skills [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 1989, he voted against killing an amendment (S. Amdt. 1089) that included employers of seasonal and migrant workers in certain federal wage funding programs [source: U.S. Senate].

Health Care:

  • McCain missed a vote in 2007 on a rejected amendment to improve rural access to health care services by reducing the liability system associated with obstetrical and gynecological services (S. Amdt. 3673) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2007, McCain voted no on the unsuccessful bill (H.R. 976) to fund the State Children Health Insurance Program at $45 billion through 2011 by increasing the tobacco tax [source: Project Vote Smart].
  • McCain voted in 2005 against S. Amdt. 2259, which would have increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program by $74 million [source: Project Vote Smart].
  • In 2004, McCain voted against rejected S. Amdt. 2803, which called for providing $60 billion over five years for public and private health care coverage by repealing Bush tax cuts [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2003, McCain voted against S. Amdt. 349, which proposed a $5,000 tax credit for expenses related to ill Americans' long-term or chronic care needs [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against waiving S. Amdt. 3852 in 2000, which grants tax credits to small business owners for employee health insurance coverage [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 1999, McCain voted for Patient's Bill of Rights in relation to health care coverage (S. Amdt. 1242 [source: U.S. Senate] and S. Amdt. 1344) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • McCain voted against S. Amdt. 5190 in 1996, which provided benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, but would have required people seeking compensation for injury or death from VA care to first prove fault [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against S. Amdt. 5194 in 1996, which provides health care coverage be extended to mental illness [source: U.S. Senate].

On the next page, we'll look at McCain's voting record with regard to ethics and morality questions, as well as veterans' issues.