Graham swears he's not trying to be 'complete a**hole' by refusing to hike debt limit
Sen. Lindsey Graham only wants to hurt Democrats in the midterms.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) admitted to Politico this week that he and his Republican colleagues are bringing the United States to the precipice of financial default for political gain.
Graham, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, acknowledged that the Senate minority is using the debt ceiling to force Democrats to take “tough” votes that can be used against them in 2022 midterm campaigns.
“I mean, I’m not going to be a complete asshole about it. But I’m going to make them take some tough votes,” Graham said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that the United States will run out of cash to pay its bills on Oct. 18, less than two weeks away. She’s warned of the devastating impacts not raising the borrowing limit can have on individual Americans, interrupting Social Security payments to older people and paychecks for members of the U.S. armed forces until the limit is increased.
Senate Republicans have been filibustering Democrats’ attempts to raise the debt ceiling so that the country can pay the bills it’s already incurred, including $7.8 trillion in debt added under former President Donald Trump.
Senate Democrats plan to hold another vote on a stand-alone debt ceiling increase on Wednesday, which Republicans will delay again by means of a filibuster, a procedural move by which they refuse to provide the 60 votes needed to end debate on an issue and move it to a vote. Ten Republicans would need to vote with Democrats to get the debt ceiling increase to an up-or-down vote — and so far every single GOP lawmaker has said they will not vote to end debate.
Graham admits he wants to force Democrats to use the complicated budget reconciliation process to raise the debt ceiling, requiring limitations on debate and eliminating the need for 60 votes to pass, but allowing the GOP to force amendment votes that they feel they could then use in campaigning against Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
Graham told Politico he wants Democrats to have to “pick a number” for a new debt ceiling.
Graham has played politics with the nation’s debt before.
In 2019, Graham tried to use the debt ceiling to force Congress to shell out $5.7 billion for Donald Trump’s wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. That gambit failed, and Congress raised the debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis without the wall funding.
In 2013, Graham tried to use a debt ceiling increase to force Congress to cut spending elsewhere. “If you raise the debt ceiling by a dollar, you should cut spending by a dollar,” Graham said at the time. “That is the way to go forward. So a dollar for dollar offset and a budget I think are two conditions to raising the debt ceiling.”
President Joe Biden has been clear that it’s Republicans who are blocking a debt ceiling increase with their filibuster and other procedural demands.
“This economic scenario is cataclysmic,” Moody’s reported. “The downturn would be comparable to that suffered during the financial crisis” in 2008.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong
Friday’s jobs data showed a strong, resilient U.S. labor market with wages outpacing inflation — welcome news for Americans hoping to have more purchasing power in 2024.By Casey Quinlan - January 05, 2024
Biden’s infrastructure law is boosting Nevada’s economy. Sam Brown opposed it.
The Nevada Republican U.S. Senate hopeful also spoke out against a rail project projected to create thousands of union jobsBy Jesse Valentine - November 15, 2023
Biden infrastructure law helps Pennsylvania’s small manufacturers
'This investment will help create jobs in our region, and it’s exactly the kind of funding we need to expand American manufacturing, innovation, and production,' Sen. John Fetterman said.By Oliver Willis - October 20, 2023