Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made these comments on raising the debt ceiling.
GRAHAM: “I don’t understand why we [Republicans] are folding here. For two months Republicans have been saying Democrats want to spend $3.5 trillion without any Republican input. If they are going to do that — they need to raise the debt ceiling on their own. This is just a mistake.”
GRAHAM: “Democrats are spending the money by themselves through reconciliation, they can also raise the debt ceiling through reconciliation. That’s been the position of the Republican Party. I can understand why Democrats don’t want to use reconciliation for the debt ceiling because politically it will be tough. But I don’t understand why we as Republicans are folding here.”
GRAHAM: “This is a complete capitulation. The argument made yesterday was that this may be more pressure than two Democrat senators can stand regarding changing the filibuster rules. That to me is not a very good reason.”
GRAHAM: “You either believe in Senate rules and procedures or you don’t. When we had control of the White House, House, and Senate, we were under pressure to change the rules to enact the Republican agenda. I thought it would be bad for the country and I said ‘No.’ It never crossed my mind to go to Democrats and say if you don’t do these two or three things I may have to change the rules. The bottom line is that’s extortion. It’s not healthy for the Senate and I’m not going to live that way.”
GRAHAM: “Democrats have a 50/50 Senate and a small majority in the House. They are acting like they have a mandate from the American people to completely transform America. I find that audacious and offensive. I don’t blame Democrats for trying to do as much as they can; I do blame us for not fighting when we can. And the idea of Democrats using reconciliation to raise the debt limit by themselves made sense to me then and makes sense to me now.”
GRAHAM: “When President Trump was in the White House, we had the House and the Senate. We had all these Democrats saying don’t change the rules. The shoe is on the other foot now. I understand that. No more games here. You either believe in the Senate being different from the House or you don’t. So if you want to change the rules, change them.”
GRAHAM: “I don’t like using reconciliation to fundamentally change America through a socialist spending agenda. Why the hell would I make it easier for them to raise the debt ceiling through regular order? We had a strategy and we abandoned it.”