Jul 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham says he'd "leave town" to block Dems' $3.5 trillion bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Defense Department's budget request on Capitol Hill on June 17
Sen. Lindsey Graham during a June Senate on Capitol Hill. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Sunday he may follow Texas Democrats' lead and "leave town" in order to stop a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a key priority of President Biden's agenda, from passing in Congress.

Why it matters: The U.S. Constitution stipulates that a quorum of at least 51 senators must be present on the floor for the Senate to conduct business, "unless a roll call vote or quorum call suggests otherwise."

Driving the news: Dozens of Texas House Democrats fled the state for Washington, D.C., last week to block a GOP-led voting bill. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has threatened them with arrest upon their return.

What he's saying: Graham told Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" that he and his Republican colleagues "may learn something from our Democratic friends in Texas when it comes to avoiding a $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend package: Leave town."

  • He insisted he would leave before he would let Democrats pass the bill.
  • "Hell yeah I would leave," Graham added. "I will use everything lawfully in my toolbox to prevent rampant inflation."
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