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McCain: We have to assure the public we won't do this again

Sen. John McCain said Congress must assure the public that it will not repeat the shutdown brinkmanship.

In plotting an immediate strategy for the GOP following the government shutdown, John McCain has one distinct idea:

"We have to assure the American people that we are not going to do this again."

"We learned a lesson this time," he added.

The Arizona Republican senator, who opposes Obamacare but didn't favor a partial shutdown, said his party needs a little positive thinking.

"We do have to focus on the provisions of Obamacare that are unacceptable and we need to change Obamacare," he said. "The next thing is to get a positive agenda for the party so that we can be for things rather than against things. For opening things rather than closing them. For providing opportunities rather than blocks to progress."

The partial shutdown that began on Oct. 1 and ended Wednesday night after a bipartisan bill passed in both the House and Senate, cost the country $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor's. In the end, the GOP agreed to fund the government to Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit until Feb. 7.

Twenty-seven GOP senators agreed and 18 opposed, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul. In the House, 87 Republicans agreed and 144 voted no.

"The one thing politicians crave is approval," McCain said about the Republican Party's overall approval numbers, which according to one recent poll, have hit a record low. "Look at the disapproval we have. We know we have to start doing things differently. There is a lot of good people of good will who are ready to do that."