Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. condemned the Democratic spending package and said during an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that, if needed, he will follow the lead of the Texas House Democrats who fled their home state in an effort to kill GOP-backed voting legislation.
“Hell yeah, I would leave,” Graham told host Maria Bartiromo. “I would use everything lawfully in my toolbox to prevent rampant inflation.”
The Republican senator made the comments five days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Budget Committee had reached an agreement to allot $3.5 trillion for a spending package that would complete President Biden’s infrastructure plan.
The plan will fund a budget reconciliation package so that Democratic lawmakers can sidestep the need for GOP support and shield the funds from a filibuster.
The budget will cover costs to expand Medicare, address climate change, childcare and education – all big-ticket items deemed “human infrastructure” that Republicans said they would fervently reject.
Graham noted that he would support the roughly $950 billion infrastructure plan for roads, bridges and ports, but stressed that “the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package designed to pass without a single Republican vote” is “not infrastructure.”
He added that the reconciliation package is “a liberal wish list,” which contains “all kinds of new social programs unrelated to infrastructure.”
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Graham asserted that the only way to pay for the reconciliation package is “through a massive tax increase.”
He subsequently noted that “you’ve got to have a quorum to pass a bill in the Senate” and said he would “leave” if Democrats pass the reconciliation budget resolution and the $3.5 trillion bill is brought to the floor of the Senate.
“To my Republican colleagues, we may learn something from our Democratic friends in Texas when it comes to avoiding a $3.5 trillion tax and spend package: Leave town,” Graham said.
Last week, dozens of Democratic state lawmakers from Texas skipped out on a special legislative session in order to break a quorum and stall Republican efforts to fast track new election integrity bills, which critics on the left claim amount to voter suppression.
Graham told Bartiromo on Sunday that “if it takes me not showing up to stop” the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, which he argued has “got nothing to do with infrastructure” and is “a tax and spend dream of the socialist left,” he will do it.
He asserted that passing the bill would cause inflation to soar “through the roof.”
Graham also referenced the Democratic push to include amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in their budget reconciliation proposal.
He warned that if Democrats “put legalizing illegal immigrants in that bill, you’re going to have a complete run on the border.”
“It would lead to an invasion of illegal immigrants if we put amnesty in the $3.5 trillion bill so I’d do anything I could to stop that,” Graham added.
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President Biden scrapped a number of his predecessor’s immigration policies, which included wall construction and having asylum seekers remain in Mexico instead of in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard. The moves have led to a record surge in migrants, including unaccompanied minors, that has strained capacity at immigration facilities.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.