"This is a sad day," McCain said. "The sorrow of what has been done to this institution will remain with us for a long, long time."
McCain quoted a letter written by the late GOP Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va), in which Byrd called a filibuster rules change "grossly misguided."
"I wish that Robert Byrd had seen the travesty that just took place on a party line vote," McCain said.
McCain quoted both Reid and President Obama as opposing filibuster reform earlier in their Senate careers.
"I'm sorry to say I agree with him," McCain said, stating that he agreed with Reid's strong opposition to reform in 2008.
McCain said that the nuclear option changed the Senate entirely, causing "great damage to the institution itself." He added that it makes the Senate more like the House, in which a Speaker can work his or her will with greater ease.
"The Senate was set up to be different," McCain declared.