OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is once again advising Republicans not to castigate or cast aside former President Donald Trump, suggesting he remains the preeminent force within the GOP.
According to Newsmax, the South Carolina Republican
…on Sunday advised Republicans not to cross former President Donald Trump like Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did by voting with 13 other Republicans to allow Democrats a process to raise the debt ceiling.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham said “in the end, we did not make [Democrats] use reconciliation” to raise the debt ceiling — an issue Trump has been adamant about, hammering McConnell last week for not using the debt ceiling “to get rid of Build Back Worse.”
“You have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work,” Graham said.
“I like Senator McConnell but Republicans voted against this and every House Republican but one voted against it,” Graham said of the Democrats’ debt ceiling maneuver. “We promised one thing but delivered another. That was a mistake.”
“The Democrats caused this problem, they need to fix it,” Graham insisted.
“It’s really not about the process as much as it’s about keeping your word. We let a lot of people down,” he added.
“Sen. McConnell has been a great leader on many things but we are going into an election cycle with the wind at our back,” Graham insisted.
“But when you look forward to this party, Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the entire history of the Republican party, maybe besides Ronald Reagan. You have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump or it will not work,” he said.
He then went on to allege that Democrats are “lying” about President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan being fully paid for, as The Hill notes:
…Democrats must “quit lying” about the cost of the Build Back Better Act and called for the House to revote on the massive social spending package.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham claimed that the electric vehicle tax credits included in the bill would exacerbate inflation and hurt companies like BMW and Volvo. Both companies have recently announced commitments to rolling out new electric vehicles, with Volvo aiming to be all electric by 2030.
“The last thing I’m going to do is add more burdens to working families in South Carolina. And here’s my message to the Democratic Party: Quit lying about this bill. They should re-vote it in the House,” said Graham. “We need to stop Build Back Better before it destroys this country.”
Graham’s comments come on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office report last week estimating that Biden’s plan would actually add $3 trillion over 10 years to the national debt if all of the provisions included in the massive bill were made permanent — like virtually every spending line item before this bill.
“That’s three trillion. There is not a plan to pay for it. If there is, I missed it so give it to me. Give it to the American people before we vote in the Senate. Show me how you pay for this bill,” Graham said on Sunday.
“The vote in the House was based on a fraud. It doesn’t cost $1.75 trillion. It’s $4.9 trillion. If this is paid for, I missed it. Give it to me. Give it to the American people. Show us how you’re paying for this bill.”
“We voted knowing that cutting taxes, we believed, would be good,” Graham said of then-President Trump’s huge tax cuts passed in 2017, adding, “I am against extra spending.”
Graham said that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, “came to me and he said ‘I think this bill is full of gimmicks. These programs will go away, Lindsey. They go for 10 years, the bill will double.’ It didn’t just double, it went two and a half times,” Graham said.
“If you pass Build Back better, it declares war on fossil fuels and gives tax credits to vehicles made by union plants which hurts BMW and Volvo. Build Back Better will be gasoline on the inflation problem,” Graham added.