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'A Tax and Spend Dream of the Socialist Left': Republicans Denounce Plan to Vote on $3.5T Bill That Hasn't Been Written

07-19-2021
lindseygraham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says fellow Republicans might take a page from the Texas Democrats' playbook when it comes to the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. 

More than 50 Texas Democrats fled their state last week to stall a vote on election integrity. On Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures" program, Graham said he'd do the same thing to prevent a quorum and block the vote on the massive spending plan.

"H*** yeah, I would leave. I would use everything lawfully in my toolbox to prevent rampant inflation, a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package that's got nothing to do with infrastructure. That's a tax and spend dream of the socialist left. If it takes me not showing up to stop that, I will do it," Graham said.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) last week announced that the Senate will vote to open debate on the bipartisan infrastructure package this week, setting up a key test vote on the legislation, which took months to negotiate. 

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Schumer will file for a cloture vote on a shell bill that senators will later swap the bipartisan legislation into. 

Other Republican senators also blasted the so-called infrastructure plan. 

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said Democrats are pushing this Wednesday as an "arbitrary deadline." 

The bill should only be brought forward "when it's ready," the senator told Dana Bash on CNN's State of the Union. 

"It's actually 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats putting this together. Chuck Schumer, with all due respect, is not writing the bill, nor is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), by the way. So that's why we shouldn't have an arbitrary deadline of Wednesday. We should bring the legislation forward when it's ready, and it's incredibly important legislation," Portman said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told "Fox News Sunday": "How can I vote for cloture when the bill isn't written?"

"Unless Senator Schumer doesn't want this to happen, you need a little bit more time to get it right," Cassidy said. 

"It's important that we get it done. It's been talked about for years, and yet it's got to be done in a thoughtful bipartisan way. We don't want to rush this process and make mistakes," he noted.

Meanwhile, Democrats are seeking to use the reconciliation package to advance elements of a federal voting law that's stalled in the Senate. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told a group of Georgia Democrats that they still hope to pass the "For The People Act". However, they could put financial incentives in the reconciliation budget encouraging states to pass similar provisions. 

Senate Republicans previously blocked that Democrat voting bill calling it a "despicable attempt to strip states of their constitutional right."

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