Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Sunday advised Republicans not to cross former President Donald Trump like Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did by voting with 13 other Republicans to allow Democrats a process to raise the debt ceiling.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham said “in the end, we did not make [Democrats] use reconciliation” to raise the debt ceiling — an issue Trump has been adamant about, hammering McConnell last week for not using the debt ceiling “to get rid of Build Back Worse.”
“You have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work,” Graham said.
“I like Senator McConnell but Republicans voted against this and every House Republican but one voted against it,” Graham said of the Democrats’ debt ceiling maneuver. “We promised one thing but delivered another. That was a mistake.”
“The Democrats caused this problem, they need to fix it,” Graham insisted.
“It’s really not about the process as much as it’s about keeping your word. We let a lot of people down,” he added.
“Sen. McConnell has been a great leader on many things but we are going into an election cycle with the wind at our back,” Graham insisted.
“But when you look forward to this party, Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the entire history of the Republican party, maybe besides Ronald Reagan. You have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work,” he declared.
Graham also disputed that 2017 tax cuts were not paid for, and asserted the House should “re-vote” on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan for social program and climate spending.
“We voted knowing that cutting taxes, we believed, would be good,” Graham said of massive tax cuts passed in 2017, adding, “I am against extra spending.”
On the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better plan, Graham said it would add $3 trillion of debt.
“The House should re-vote,” he said. “The vote in the House was based on a fraud. It doesn’t cost $1.75 trillion. It’s $4.9 trillion. If this is paid for, I missed it. Give it to me. Give it to the American people. Show us how you’re paying for this bill.”
W. Virginia. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, Graham said, “came to me and he said ‘I think this bill is full of gimmicks. These programs will go away, Lindsey. They go for 10 years, the bill will double.’ It didn’t just double, it went two and a half times,” Graham said.
“If you pass Build Back better, it declares war on fossil fuels and gives tax credits to vehicles made by union plants which hurts BMW and Volvo. Build Back Better will be gasoline on the inflation problem,” Graham added.
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