Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, vowed on Monday that he would do everything within his power to “undo” the bipartisan debt ceiling bill and what he says is the “disaster” it would be for America’s defense.
“I will use all powers available to me in the Senate to have amendment votes to undo this catastrophe for defense,” wrote Graham on Twitter. “I support raising the debt limit for 90 days to give us a chance to correct this disaster for defense.”
“Have total disgust for political leaders’ decision to make it remotely possible to gut our national security apparatus at a time of great peril. Take this absurd idea off the table,” added Graham.
Earlier in the day, he repeated the criticism he leveled against the aspects of the Sunday deal, calling it “welcome news to China” and suggesting it ran counter to Republicans’ and Democrats’ “screaming” about the rise and growing threat of China.”
“How far the Party of Ronald Reagan has fallen. The Biden defense budget has been ridiculed by Republicans for over a year,” wrote the senator on Twitter. “As to the share of GDP spent on defense, the Biden budget matches and eventually dips below the lowest level in modern history. Nothing in this bill provides weapons or technology to help Ukraine defeat Putin and make the world more stable.”
“To Biden, McConnell, and McCarthy, what are we going to do about our own national defense as well as our support of Ukraine? We need to know,” added Graham.
Senator Graham had warned of slashing defense spending to reach debt ceiling deal
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the senator warned GOP Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy against slashing the defense budget to reach a deal on the debt ceiling. Graham’s comments came before the release of the deal’s full details.
“Number one, I respect Kevin McCarthy. I want to raise the debt ceiling. It would be irresponsible not to do it. I want to control spending. I’d like to have a smaller IRS. I’d like to claw back the unused Covid money. I know you can’t get the perfect — but what I will not do is adopt the Biden defense budget and call it a success,” said Graham.
“Kevin said that the defense is fully funded. If we adopt the Biden defense budget, it increases defense spending below inflation — 3.2% increase in defense is below inflation,” added Graham.
McCarthy and Biden reached the debt ceiling agreement late Sunday, averting a possible catastrophic U.S. default just days before the June 5 deadline. The deal includes a defense spending rise of 3% next year, less than the current annual inflation rate of over 4%. It would also hold nondefense spending roughly flat in the 2024 fiscal year, increasing it 1% the following year, along with providing for a 2-year debt-limit increase. The House version of the bill was released later in the evening.
The House Rules Committee is set to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday to prepare the debt ceiling bill for debate on the floor Wednesday.