Graham takes on COVID relief critics: ‘See what happens’ if Republicans lose Georgia
Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed conservative critics of the new coronavirus stimulus package on Tuesday, warning them what would happen if Republicans lose next month’s Georgia Senate elections. If that happens, it would effectively give Democrats control of two out of three branches of the federal government: the executive and the legislative branches with no stop-gap in place from the other side of the political aisle.
“The bottom line is they wanted $3 trillion for the pandemic last year. We wound up with $900 billion. You could have gotten this package in July, Mitch McConnell’s right about that. They refused to even talk to us before the election because they thought a relief package would help President Trump. If you think this bill is bad, lose Georgia and see what happens,” Graham (R-SC) told “Fox & Friends.”
Graham detailed how $1.4 trillion will be allocated to funding the government and $680 billion will be allocated to the military.
“Then you’ve got to fund the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the foreign aid budget is 1% of all American spending. Pakistan is a place I really worry about; 85 countries a woman can’t open up a bank account without her husband’s signature, she can’t inherit property. If you’re a young girl in Pakistan, life is pretty tough, so we’re trying to make life better for women throughout the world.”
Congress has been embroiled in a heated political version of tug-of-war over the coronavirus relief package. They passed the behemoth bill late Monday night that combined $900 billion in COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus government spending measure.
Out-of-work Americans will get an unemployment check boost and everyone making under $75,000 will get a second round of token stimulus checks at $600 a pop. The $2.3 trillion catchall package, which will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, addresses a spate of legislation on taxes, energy, education, and healthcare.
The 5,593-page bill is part of an omnibus appropriations package that wraps 12 spending measures into one. It also contains many items that have nothing to do with coronavirus relief including foreign aid, museums, the Dalai Lama, and copy infringement.
Congress overwhelmingly passed the bill, which became available to lawmakers just a few hours before they were expected to vote on it. This caused lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle to object to the bill. It passed anyway.
I will support the $900b package for coronavirus relief as well as funding for the federal government.
This package provides a lot of relief for people who are hurting and should’ve been done months ago. https://t.co/bL1jCBDw0Q
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 21, 2020
“This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, linking to a story about the legislation making illegal streaming a felony. “Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2 pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours. This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking.”
Graham said that the United States has to “compete with China” because they are everywhere.” He also said that he likes the coronavirus package “in the sense that it is targeted.”
A family of four will get $2,400 and small businesses are eligible to get another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, while $38 billion will go to distributing the vaccine, he said.
Graham finished off with a stark warning for Republicans. “So this is sausage making, but the Democrats have a say. They run the House. And if they ever get the House, the Senate, and the White House, it will be a financial disaster for this country, so vote in Georgia.”