The Arizona Republican's death on Saturday at the age of 81 is a loss for all Americans, "who remember him for his patriotism, straight talk, and independence", said Mikulski, the former senator who is now professor of public policy and adviser to the president at the Johns Hopkins University. He died at his home in Arizona just one day after discontinuing treatments for the disease.
McCain with his fighter squadron in 1965.
The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain is a former Navy pilot. But he had earlier denied that McCain, who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War, is a war hero.
Among the military medals McCain earned were three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, two Legion of Merit awards, a Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
McCain served alongside Hillary Clinton in the Senate. He was elected to the Senate from Arizona six times but twice thwarted in seeking the presidency.
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McCain is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, Cindy, and his five children, Meghan, Bridget, John, James and Sidney. He had battled brain cancer andr recently ended treatment for the condition.
The senator's long presence, attraction to the cameras and outspoken demeanor made him a prominent and often controversial figure, mostly within his own party.
The allusion to the medical deferment that saved a young Donald Trump from serving in that war could not have been clearer. Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act in a ceremony at a military base in NY - without one mention of McCain.
The Latest on President Donald Trump's response to the death of Sen. He cast a decisive vote a year ago that killed Republican attempts to repeal Barack Obama's health care reforms, something Trump never forgave.
Mr Bush was among those expected to speak at Mr McCain's funeral. He stunned the GOP by actively considering an offer from the Democrat presidential challenger in 2004, John Kerry, to join his ticket.
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"He was unafraid to take on his party", Schumer said. And of course, his major legislative accomplishment was co-sponsoring with liberal Sen.
The scion of a decorated military family, McCain embraced his role as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, pushing for aggressive USA military intervention overseas and eager to contribute to "defeating the forces of radical Islam that want to destroy America". That bill was widely condemned as a fundamental infringement on the First Amendment and was effectively rendered moot when the Supreme Court issued the famous Citizens United decision, years later.
He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008. He was soundly defeated by Barack Obama.
After Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of MA died in 2009, President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House be flown at half-staff for five days.
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"Except for one senator, who came into a room at 3 o'clock in the morning and went like that, we would have had health care too, we would have had health care too, think of that", Trump said in February while mimicking McCain's thumbs down gesture. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine.