Sen. Graham: GOP Senators Should Leave Town Like Texas Dems to Stop $3.5 Trillion Spending Plan

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
July 18, 2021 Updated: July 18, 2021

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggested that Republican U.S. senators should “leave town” to deny a voting quorum on a Democrat-led reconciliation bill that could be voted on as early as next week, arguing that the GOP should draw from Texas state Democrats’ playbook.

Several days ago, Democrat state lawmakers left Texas to deny the Republican-led legislature a quorum in protest against a voting overhaul measure, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to call for their arrests or detainment. Several dozen of the lawmakers arrived in Washington on July 12 after leaving on a private charter flight, while some later met with top Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris.

“If for some reason they pass reconciliation, a budget resolution to bring that bill to the floor of the United States Senate, the $3.5 trillion bill, you’ve got to have a quorum to pass a bill in the Senate; I would leave before I would let that happen,” Graham told Fox News on July 18. “So 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.”

When the Democrat House members left Texas, it meant the chamber wouldn’t have enough legislators in attendance to conduct business—known as a quorum—and meant they couldn’t vote on election bills or other legislation. Abbott called a special session after Democrats pulled a similar stunt during the waning hours of the previous legislative session on May 30, denying Republicans the ability to vote on the measure.

Republicans have argued the bill would safeguard future elections and restore confidence in the state’s voting systems, while Democrats have said the bill would suppress minority turnout.

“Yeah, I would leave,” Graham also emphatically told Fox News on July 18 about how he would personally handle the reconciliation vote, which doesn’t require any Republican votes and can bypass the 60-vote filibuster. “I would use everything in my toolbox. It’s got nothing to do with infrastructure.

“It’s a tax-and-spend dream of the socialist left.”

Graham said that the reconciliation bill would significantly increase inflation.

“If they put legalizing illegal immigrants in that bill, you’re going to have a complete run on the border,” he said. “It will be throwing jet fuel on a fire called illegal immigration. It would lead to an invasion of illegal immigrants if we put amnesty in the $3.5 trillion bill, so I would do anything I could to stop that.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment on Graham’s suggestion.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.