Graham: Democrats’ So-Called COVID Relief Bill is a Liberal Wish List

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) spoke on the Senate floor about the Democrats’ so-called COVID-19 relief bill noting it is a liberal wish list that is filled with partisan priorities.

On Democrats abandoning bipartisanship:

GRAHAM: “[Democrats] now have power of the federal government, complete power. Control of the Senate, control of the House, control of the White House. They’ve abandoned bipartisanship. [Republicans] had the Presidency and the Senate, they had the House. We were able to work together. Now they’ve got it all. They’re running us over, literally, legislatively here. I think we made reasonable offers. Nobody is willing to compromise. They see this as a moment to do a lot of things they’ve been wanting to do for years that has nothing to do with COVID.”  https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=244

 GRAHAM: “This bill is not about fighting COVID. It’s about a chance, in a partisan fashion, to do things [Democrats] couldn’t do otherwise.” https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=441

GRAHAM: “There is plenty of bipartisanship around COVID relief. That bipartisanship has stopped. President Biden made a big deal about wanting to bring the country together and find common ground. Well the one area that we’d actually had common ground, we’ve abandoned common ground to deal with a $1.9 trillion package just months after we authorized $1.04 trillion.”https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=134

On provisions in the Democrats’ bill that have nothing to do with COVID relief:

GRAHAM: “The $1.9 trillion being proposed now about 90 percent of it has got very little to do with COVID. It is a liberal wish list.” https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=170

GRAHAM: “There was $100 million for a Silicon Valley underground rail project that didn’t pass the smell test. The only reason that’s out is [Republicans] made a big deal about it.”https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=415

GRAHAM: “There’s $20 million in the bill for the preservation and maintenance of Native American languages. That might be something that makes sense, but we’re dealing with a COVID package… $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m an appropriator. This is an appropriations bill. The committees I’m on, we actually vet this stuff to see if it makes sense to put it in the normal appropriations process.” https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=511

GRAHAM: “$200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library [Services]. I am sure there’s needs out there for museums and [libraries]. But it should go through the appropriations process where we’ll have a chance to make a case for it or against it rather than being crammed into a bill that’s being printed while I speak.” https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=601  

GRAHAM: “Now is the worst possible time I think to go to $15 an hour minimum wage. Just think about your own communities. How many restaurants and hotels have had to reduce or close down because COVID restrictions? And we’re finally beginning to come out of it a bit. To add a $15 an hour mandate, doubling the minimum wage, would be increasing the cost of doing business after the government at the state and local level has shut the business down. So the business has been reduced in terms of revenue because of COVID restrictions and now the federal government is going to mandate a doubling of the minimum wage that the business has to absorb and pass onto the consumer. So that is out [of the Senate’s bill]. We can raise the minimum wage in a responsible fashion once we get COVID under control.”  https://youtu.be/JRbsjEH2NkI?t=365

Click here to watch Graham’s full speech