What You Need To Know:
Taking a page from the playbook of Texas State House Democrats, Senate Republican Lindsey Graham is floating the idea of stopping President Biden’s infrastructure plan. During a Sunday morning appearance on Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in order to derail the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, he’ll get out of town so that the Senate can’t assemble a quorum to pass the bill.
“You got to have a quorum to pass a bill in the Senate,” he told Fox News on Sunday. “I would leave before I let that happen.”
In the case of the Senate, the U.S. Constitution requires the attendance of 51 members of the Senate to reach a quorum. Senator Graham would need all of his Republican colleagues to join him in order to succeed.
Graham said Republicans fervently reject the Democrats infrastructure package because it includes costs to expand Medicare, address climate change, childcare and education, all big-ticket items described as “human infrastructure.”
The South Carolina Republican stated he would support the roughly $950 billion infrastructure plan for roads, bridges and ports, but stressed that “the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package designed to pass without a single Republican vote” is “not infrastructure.”
The GOP cite concerns about inflation and American dependence on government programs.
Texas drew worldwide attention last week, as state House Democrats left their state to block the GOP-controlled legislature from passing new voter restrictions. Over 50 Texas state representatives traveled to Washington, D.C. to deny the Texas House a quorum.
Why We Need To Know:
The current Senate is evenly split, with 50 Republicans and 50 members of the Senate’s Democratic Caucus. As a result, all 50 GOP senators would need to be on board with Graham’s plan and leave the Capitol in order to deny Democrats quorum.
Copying the Texas Democrats plan does little to nothing in continuing reconciliation discussions between Democrats and Republicans about the infrastructure bill. It highlights the ever-growing chasm between Republicans and Democrats. This also keeps Lindsey Graham’s name in the public forum and connected to something other than his blind loyalty to Donald Trump and the investigation continues into the January 6 Capitol attack.