Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that turnabout was fair play during a Sunday interview on stopping the Democrats’ $3.5 agenda crazy agenda item wishlist bill.
Every terrible Democratic agenda item under the sun is in there and Democrats would only need a simple majority to pass it if it were to proceed under reconciliation. It’s not at all clear that Democrats would have everyone on board to go that route. But Graham took a page from the Texas Democrats, telling Fox’s Maria Bartiromo he would try to deny Democrats a quorum if they got to that point.
Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed the Democratic spending package and said on Fox News that he would flee, like the Texas House Democrats, to kill GOP-backed voting legislation. pic.twitter.com/FqprWEvZFJ
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) July 18, 2021
“Before Republicans beat up on the Democrats in Texas for leaving Texas too much, if for some reason they pass reconciliation, budget resolution, to bring that bill to the floor of the United States Senate, the $3.5 trillion bill, you got to have a quorum to pass a bill in the Senate. I would leave before I’d let that happen,” Graham said. “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.” [….]
“Hey, Vice President Harris, if you think these people are heroes, well then I expect you to show up and pat us on the back,” said the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. “Hell yeah I would leave! I will use everything lawfully in my toolbox to prevent rampant inflation. A $3.5 trillion infrastructure package that’s got nothing to do with infrastructure, that is a tax and spend dream of the of the socialist left. If it takes me not showing up to stop that, I will do it. Because if we pass that bill, you’re gonna have inflation through the roof. And if they put legalizing illegal immigrants in that bill, you’re going to have a complete run on the border, 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’d do anything I could to stop that.”
As Bartiromo noted, they’re going to try to throw anything they can into this bill including amnesty because they only get one bite at the apple this year to go through reconciliation and get something through without any Republican votes. Graham agreed, saying there’s nothing at all moderate about the Biden administration.
If Graham were able to do that, add one more thing to the list of the Texas Democrats’ unintended consequences — from embarrassing themselves to spreading the Wuhan coronavirus.
Republicans would certainly have much more a reason to do such a quorum blocking move — to save the country from a nightmare of a bill — as opposed to the Texas Democrats who were just lying their heads off about the Texas election integrity bill. However, as a practical matter, it would be harder to achieve because of the difference in the procedural rules between the Texas House and the U.S. Senate. The Texas House requires two-thirds to be present for a quorum, the Senate only requires a simple majority. So if even one Republican were to be present, they would have enough. Also, a quorum is presumed unless it is questioned. So you would have to find some way to raise that question without a Republican being present.
There’s also a question as to whether such a massive tax and spend one-party bill would get the votes of folks like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and some of the other folks who are more silent behind them. It would result in a massive tax hike which isn’t going to go over well either.
But all the Republicans do need to be committed to stopping this from going through. The problem is so many have been willing to go along with Democrats in the past, including repeatedly getting their heads handed to them on infrastructure, will they all stand up here to stop this?