Aug 02 2011

Graham Votes Against Debt-Limit Deal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted against the compromise debt-limit agreement negotiated between congressional leaders and President Obama.  The measure passed the Senate 74-26. 

Graham said:


“I cannot in good conscience support this deal.  Simply stated, it locks us into more debt, bigger government and most devastating of all, a weakened Defense infrastructure at a time when threats to our nation are increasing, not decreasing.


“This agreement still adds over $7 trillion in new debt over the next decade and only makes small reductions in future spending.  We hardly address the future growth of entitlements, a major contributor of future budgetary problems.


“I fear we will see that this agreement does not really move the needle when it comes to reducing government spending.  Instead of our nation running toward bankruptcy we will be walking toward bankruptcy.


“The only part of our nation’s budget which is really exposed to serious consequences is the Department of Defense.  Their budget could be reduced by nearly $1 trillion under this plan.  And if these proposed cuts ever become reality, the biggest loser will be our men and women in uniform.


“I firmly believe defense spending should be placed under a microscope and we can find savings.  However, this agreement places Defense on the chopping block and slowly moves the Republican Party away from the Reagan model of a strong national defense.  I fear it legitimizes the concept that Defense spending is not only equal to other areas of federal spending, but is of lesser importance.


“I always believed we have to raise our nation’s debt-ceiling but should do so in a responsible manner.  I strongly supported Cut, Cap and Balance and will continue to work for passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.  I thought we could have raised the debt-ceiling for a period of nine months, the historical average since 1940, accompanied by a dollar-to-dollar spending cut to debt-ceiling increase while we work to enact these important structural changes to the way the government operates.


“The debt-limit debate offered us a prime opportunity to finally stop kicking the can down the road and bring discipline to the way Congress spends.  Because of our $14.5 trillion and growing national debt, we are in jeopardy of losing the American Dream where children are able to do better than their parents.”