Feb 12 2024
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on his decision to vote no on the National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024.
“This whole process has been a complete debacle. While I support the House-passed border security bill, H.R. 2, they were unable to get any Democratic votes in the House, making it impossible to pick up 11 Democrats in the Senate to get the necessary 60 votes. The House actually lost two Republican votes on H.R. 2, and when the Senate previously voted on the legislation, we lost one Republican and did not get any Democratic votes.
“We need to find a solution to the border crisis, not ideas that fall short.
“As to the bipartisan bill negotiated, there were many positive aspects, but there was more to be done. However, when it came to changing the bill, the fix was in. There was no desire by either Senate leadership team to have a robust debate like we did with the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill, which lasted weeks, because they wanted to move on to Ukraine.
“I have been saying for months that helping Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan are extremely important national security imperatives for the United States. The Ukrainians have fought like tigers, but they need more assistance. Over time they will continue to deal blows to Russia. Pulling the plug on Ukraine only invites further aggression in other areas of the world, particularly from China.
“However, as I have been consistently saying, we must deal with our border first. The border is a national security nightmare. Drugs are flowing at record levels across our border, there have been over 7 million crossings and there is an all-time high of people on the terrorist watch list coming into our country. The border must be addressed before we can move to other areas.
“I believe the solution to this problem is the following formula. The supplemental aid package should be a loan to the countries in question, as suggested by President Trump. A loan on friendly terms allows America, who is deeply in debt, a chance to get our money back and changes the paradigm of how we help others. President Trump is right to insist that we think outside the box.
“I hope the House will take another meaningful look at border security so that it can pass the Senate. I also hope the House will turn the supplemental aid package into a loan instead of a grant.
“Until that day comes, I will be voting no.”