Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is done playing games with Democrats.
During an interview Tuesday evening on Fox News, the South Carolina Republican told host Martha MacCallum that if Democrats didn’t help pass the coronavirus bill within 48 hours, he would make sure every member and their staff will lose all of their pay.
Graham said that “there is no good reason” why Congress shouldn’t quickly pass the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill and that they should be punished by the American people if they fail to do so.
Graham argued that “special-interest politics” are what is holding up the passage of the bill.
“There is no good reason left to deny the American people the relief they need,” Graham said. “Every restaurant and bar in South Carolina is closed. As long as you can’t congregate with 10 people or more, the entire economy is shut down. So, people need a paycheck.”
“They need to have burdens taken off them; their student loan payments deferred. There are so many good things in this bill, there’s $2 trillion. It is very generous,” he continued. “It’s very generous, and what’s holding this bill up is special-interest politics and if in the next 48 hours we do not pass this bill, everybody in the country should cut off our pay.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hopes to pass the spending bill by unanimous consent, which would allow the legislation to move forward without calling lawmakers back to Capitol Hill for a vote.
Graham said he didn’t care how it got done — he just wanted the bill passed immediately so American families and businesses can get financial relief.
“Yeah, we are in a war,” Graham said in response to a question about remote voting. “We’re in a war against a virus.”
“I’m all for trying to jump-start the economy and turn it back on where it makes sense,” he said, “but what is happening in New York could come to South Carolina or any other place if we really don’t watch it here.”
“We are at war with this virus — I want to starve it, I want to bomb it, and I want to kill it,” Graham said. “You starve it by having social distancing … you bomb it by having therapies that make it less lethal, and you kill it with a vaccine.”
"If, in the next 48 hours, we do not pass this bill, everybody in the country should cut off our pay."@LindseyGrahamSC says Congress should have their pay suspended if they fail to pass a virus relief bill in the next 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/9w9DGki9JM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 24, 2020
And guess what?
Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally already wrote up the bill aimed at withholding pay from senators until a coronavirus stimulus package becomes law.
“If the Senate can’t come together in a time of great need, no Senator should receive a paycheck — like millions of Americans. If the urgent COVID-19 relief package fails again, I’m introducing a bill immediately to withhold Senators’ pay until Americans are put before politics,” McSally tweeted.
If Americans aren’t getting paid, then neither should we.
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) March 24, 2020
Senate leaders and the White House have struck a deal on a historic $2 trillion stimulus bill that will help push the American economy forward during the Coronavirus crisis.
Both sides reached the historic deal shortly after midnight Wednesday, although reports suggest support in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives remains uncertain.
The bipartisan breakthrough in the Senate capped days of heated negotiations after Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew into D.C. and tried slipping in a slew of unnecessary, left-wing proposals.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland announced as he left the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell near midnight. “We have a deal.”