Lindsey Graham vows to ‘undo’ ‘absurd’ bipartisan debt deal, calling it ‘a disaster for defense’
Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., vowed Monday he would do everything in his power to “reverse” the bipartisan debt ceiling bill and the “disaster” it would mean for America’s defense.
“I will use all the powers I have in the Senate to pass amending votes to reverse this defense disaster,” Graham wrote on Twitter. “I support raising the debt limit for 90 days to give us a chance to fix this defense disaster.”
“Be utterly outraged by the political leadership’s decision to make it even remotely possible to undermine our national security apparatus at a time of great peril. Take that absurd idea off the table,” he added.
Earlier in the afternoon, he repeated criticism he leveled Sunday of the defense spending aspects of the deal, calling it “welcome news for China” and implying it conflicted with “screaming from Democrats and Republicans about the rise and growing… Threat of…”. China.”
“How far Ronald Reagan’s party has fallen. Biden’s defense budget has been ridiculed by Republicans for over a year,” he wrote on Twitter. “In terms of defense budget as a percentage of GDP, the Biden budget is at, and eventually falls below, the lowest level in modern history. Nothing in this law provides for weapons or technology that could help Ukraine defeat Putin and make the world a more stable place.”
“To Biden, McConnell and McCarthy: What are we going to do about our own national defense and our support for Ukraine? We need to know,” he added.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham warned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, against cutting the defense budget to reach a debt ceiling deal.
His comments came before the full details of the deal were released.
“First of all, I respect Kevin McCarthy. I want to raise the debt ceiling. It would be irresponsible not to do it. I want to control expenses. I would like a smaller IRS. I want to claim back the unused COVID money. I know you can’t get perfect – but I’m not going to pass the Biden defense budget and call it a success,” Graham said.
“Kevin said the defense is fully funded. If we pass the Biden defense budget, it will increase defense spending below inflation – a 3.2% increase in defense is below inflation,” he added.
Biden and McCarthy agreed on the debt ceiling late Sunday, averting a potentially catastrophic US default just days before the June 5 deadline.
Later that evening they released the version of the bill in the House of Representatives.
The deal calls for a 3% increase in defense spending next year, less than the current annual inflation rate of more than 4%.
It would also keep non-defense spending roughly stable in fiscal 2024 and increase it by 1% in the following year, and provide for a two-year debt ceiling hike.
The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday at 3 p.m. to prepare the debt ceiling bill for debate on Wednesday.