Lindsey Graham frets debt deal ‘cuts’ might hurt Ukraine, Rand Paul asks what cuts?

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is in a tizzy over the debt ceiling deal Speaker Kevin McCarthy has reached with the Biden administration, not because Americans might be swallowed whole by inflation, but because McCarthy’s defense spending cuts might hurt Ukraine.

According to Graham, capping defense spending could “cripple” the U.S. military, and Ronald Reagan is rolling in his grave.

(Video: Fox News)

While the RINO Senator said he “respects” McCarthy, he refused to call the negotiated deal a “success.”

“[W]hat I will not do is adopt the Biden defense budget and call it a success,” Graham told host Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Kevin said that the defense is fully funded,” he stated. “If we adopt the Biden defense budget, it increases defense spending below inflation. A 3.2% increase in defense is below inflation. The Biden defense budget takes the Navy from 298 ships to 291. At a time when China is going to increase their navy by almost a third.”

“So, the Biden defense budget was a joke before,” he continued. “And if we adopt it as Republicans, we will be doing a great disservice to the party of Ronald Reagan.”

Under the deal, Graham argued, China and Russian President Vladimir Putin “win.”

“The biggest winner of the Biden defense budget is China, because they’ll have a bigger navy and it will be Putin,” he said. “There’s nothing in the budget for Biden to help Ukraine win a war that they’re on the verge of driving the Russians out. So I like Kevin a lot, but don’t tell me that the Biden defense budget fully funds to military.”

“[I]f you send me the Biden defense budget to the United States Senate and declare it fully funds the military, you will have a hard time with me,” Graham vowed.

A minor reduction in the number of future IRS agents is not worth “sinking the Navy,” he said, adding:

The Biden defense budget takes the Navy from 298 to 291 ships. The Navy suggests that we need 373 ships to deal with the threats we face as a nation. How do you get the 373 ships if you’re spending below inflation? That’s just the Navy. The Air Force is in the same world. Listen, this is sequestration, potentially, 2.0. In 2011, my good friend Mitch McConnell negotiated the deal with Joe Biden that virtually destroyed the Defense Department in the name of raising the debt ceiling.


Graham invoked the spirit of Memorial Day and declared that he “won’t be intimidated” by the June 5th debt default deadline.

“If this is another round of sequestration, not only will I vote no, I will not be intimidated by June 5th,” he said. “This is Memorial Day weekend. We’re celebrating those who died for our country. I am a Republican from the Reagan camp. Ronald Reagan would not do this to our military.”

Forget our military, what about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s military? The thought of putting Zelenskyy in a rough spot just because America is drowning in debt is unthinkable to “smart people,” Graham insisted.

“To all the smart people out there, the best that you can do is give Ukraine the ability to evict the Russians, to liberate their territory. They’re not asking for one soldier. They’re asking for weapons and technology, and it is in our national security interest to make sure they can beat Putin and they are on the verge of driving the Russians out,” he stated.

“So we need to keep helping them,” Graham continued. “All of our allies need to be all in in helping Ukraine. They can win this, they can liberate their territory with American help, and nobody’s talked about how are we going to help Ukraine win against Russia. I am talking about it. They are on the verge of a major counteroffensive that needs support.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told followers on Twitter that there are “No real cuts to see here.”

“Fake conservatives agree to fake spending cuts,” he tweeted. “Deal will increase mandatory spending ~5%, increase military spending ~3%, and maintain current non-military discretionary spending at post-COVID levels.”

“No real cuts to see here,” Paul wrote. “Conservatives have been sold out once again!”

It appears many GOP Senators agree with Paul.

“The more I learn about this debt ceiling deal, the more I think it’s bad news,” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio). “Deficit reduction isn’t even my most important issue. But we didn’t get permitting reform. We didn’t get border security. It’s not entirely clear we got anything.”

“With Republicans like these,” tweeted Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), “who needs Democrats?”


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