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In an unexpectedly profane outburst Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., slammed President Joe Biden for his dirty-handed, treacherous games.
At issue was the so-called “bipartisan” infrastructure deal that Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy and Rob Portman had negotiated with the president and five Democrat senators.
The purpose of working with Democrats had been to convince them to settle with a smaller, fairer “bipartisan” bill versus the grandiose reconciliation bill full of disastrous Democrat goodies that they’d originally been seeking.
While Graham was reportedly among those Republicans who originally expressed some support for the bill, that support evaporated faster than a drop of water in the desert once he learned that it was all a ruse by Biden and Senate Democrats.
In a statement Thursday, the president explained that he’d only sign the bill if the Senate also passes a separate reconciliation bill that’s full of Democrat goodies. If that were to happen, Democrats would get everything they originally wanted, in addition to the veneer of “bipartisanship.” Republicans, meanwhile, would get nothing.
The statement angered Republicans, including Graham.
“If he’s gonna tie them together, he can forget it! I’m not doing that. That’s extortion! I’m not going to do that. The Dems are being told you can’t get your bipartisan work product passed unless you sign on to what the left wants, and I’m not playing that game,” Graham angrily said in a statement to Politico.
He reportedly also kind of slammed his peers.
“Graham said the five Republicans negotiating the deal never told him about the linkage strategy and he does not believe that they were aware of it,” according to Politico.
Nevertheless, he continued, their good-faith efforts have now left them looking foolish.
“You look like a f–king idiot now. I don’t mind bipartisanship, but I’m not going to do a suicide mission,” he said.
The senator echoed some of this on Twitter:
No deal by extortion!
It was never suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden was holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure proposal unless a liberal reconciliation package was also passed. https://t.co/JgYFma6oI0
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 25, 2021
I can’t imagine any other Republican had that impression.
I can’t believe the Biden Administration expects such an obvious bait and switch tactic – motivated by fear of the Left – to work in the Senate and be respected by the American people.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 25, 2021
He was right about the five senators being completely unaware of the Democrats’ plan.
“Senators who were part of the bipartisan group were never told of such an explicit linking of the two packages, the two people familiar with the discussions said. It never came up in their talks with the White House advisers or with Biden himself during Thursday’s meeting of the group of 10 key negotiators,” the Associated Press confirmed.
Not til Biden announced the plan in his statement Thursday did they know about it. As a result, they too are now reportedly just as angry as Graham.
“Portman, several sources said, was ‘pissed and disappointed,’ and made it clear that while Biden has every right to pursue a reconciliation bill, linking the two pieces of legislation was not part of their deal with the White House,” as reported by Politico.
Meanwhile, he and his four peers reportedly “discussed releasing a joint statement emphasizing that ‘there were no side deals,’ but [were] awaiting how the White House responded to today’s developments first,” according to Politico.
As of Saturday morning, a statement had still not yet been released.
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had released his own statement slamming the president for his games.
“Less than two hours after publicly commending our colleagues and actually endorsing the bipartisan agreement, the president took the extraordinary step of threatening to veto it. It was a tale of two press conferences,” he said in a Senate floor speech Thursday.
“It almost makes your head spin. An expression of bipartisanship and then an ultimatum on behalf of your left-wing base,” he added.
Less than two hours after publicly endorsing our colleagues’ bipartisan agreement on infrastructure, the President took the extraordinary step of threatening to veto it. That’s not the way to show you’re serious about getting a bipartisan outcome. pic.twitter.com/X19VKDAoul
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) June 24, 2021
He also slammed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are believed to be the ones who’d actually devised the plan.
“The Democratic Leader and the Speaker have already made clear they’ll do whatever it takes to keep their runaway spending train chugging along this summer. And more and more members of their party are having to contort their positions to keep pace with the expectations of the Green New Deal fringe,” he said.
“But caving completely in less than two hours? That’s not the way to show you’re serious about getting a bipartisan outcome. So I hope our colleagues can recover and get their good-faith efforts back on track,” he added.
Unfortunately, good faith is not something that’s synonymous with the Democrat Party.
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