WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on Senate Democrats’ plan for a federal takeover of state election systems and their push to eliminate the Senate filibuster.
- GRAHAM: “This effort by liberal Democrats to take power away from states to run elections is not about enfranchising voters – it's about shifting power to the advantage of the liberal Democratic agenda. Constitutionally, states are in charge of running elections, and the bill that we'll be voting on this week being pushed by Senator Schumer is an effort to federalize the election system, to mandate same-day voting, to mandate the elimination of voter ID. This is not about improving access to the ballot – it’s about changing the political dynamic in this country to create an election system skewed to benefit the liberals, not to increase voting participation.”
- GRAHAM: “If we change the legislative filibuster, there would be an effort to pack the Supreme Court. There would be an effort to make Puerto Rico and DC a state. It would be an effort to do away with the Electoral College, which takes South Carolina’s voice away and you would have New York and California electing the president in perpetuity. The radical agenda being proposed by the modern Democratic Party dies in the Senate only because of the legislative filibuster…So if you want to preserve checks and balances, constitutionally derived, if you want to make sure that America becomes a place where everybody has a voice, even small states, you need to preserve the legislative filibuster. Life as we know it in America will change dramatically. We will have a different Supreme Court. We will have 52 states, not 50 states. We’ll abolish the Electoral College. There will be so many changes that reshape our country – it’s important to me not to let that happen.”
- GRAHAM: “Senator Schumer will bring the bill up again and is telling the country here that he's going to try to change the rules to do away with a legislative filibuster. When the shoe was on the other foot in 2017, the Republicans had the White House, the Senate and the House, and President Trump was putting a lot of pressure on us to change the rules in the Senate so you only needed a simple majority to get on a bill and pass a bill. In April 2017, 61 senators signed a letter basically to Senator McConnell and Schumer, the two leaders of the Senate, asking them to preserve the legislative filibuster. Thirty-four Democrats, I believe – those same Democrats, now that they're in charge, seem to have a different view…When [Republicans] were in power, thirty-four Democrats expressed opposition to doing away with the legislative filibuster. So what has changed? They're in power now. My view hasn't changed at all. I don't want the Senate to become the House.”
- GRAHAM: “Every time I turn around, Senator Schumer and liberal Democrats, when they're in power, are trying to change the Senate to bend to their will so that they can get the most liberal agenda in my lifetime through the Senate, and the only way they can do that was to change the rules.”
- GRAHAM: “I'm doing the same thing now I did when we were in power. What's changed is that almost all the Democrats who were for preserving the legislative filibuster when President Trump was president have now abandoned that, and they're trying to create a single exception to the legislative filibuster. But as we all know, that will be the beginning of the end of the legislative filibuster, which makes the Senate different from the House. So it's very disappointing. I am, quite frankly, upset that all of my Democratic colleagues who asked me to sign this letter because they worried about what Republicans may do if we change the rules now all of a sudden seem not to be so worried about the Senate as an institution. I will remember this and, in the coming days, act accordingly.”
- GRAHAM: “The Senate has stopped a lot of ideas that conservatives like, and a lot of ideas that liberals like, requiring consensus. I’ve been consistent [on the filibuster] since I've been in the body.”