Sen. Lindsey Graham hit back Tuesday at conservative critics of Congress' new coronavirus stimulus package, warning what would happen if Republicans lose next month's Georgia Senate elections.
"The bottom line is they wanted $3 trillion for the pandemic last year. We wound up with $900 billion. You could have gotten this package in July, Mitch McConnell’s right about that. They refused to even talk to us before the election because they thought a relief package would help President Trump. If you think this bill is bad, lose Georgia and see what happens," Graham, R-S.C., told "Fox & Friends."
Graham said that $1.4 trillion will be allocated to funding the government and $680 billion will be allocated to the military.
"Then you’ve got to fund the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the foreign aid budget is 1% of all American spending. Pakistan is a place I really worry about; 85 countries a woman can’t open up a bank account without her husband’s signature, she can’t inherit property. If you’re a young girl in Pakistan, life is pretty tough, so we’re trying to make life better for women throughout the world."
After days of frenzied negotiations, Congress late Monday night passed a massive eleventh-hour bill that combined $900 billion in COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus government spending measure.
In addition to reviving a federal unemployment boost for millions of out-of-work Americans and sending a second $600 stimulus check to individuals including children, the $2.3 trillion catchall package, which will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, addresses a spate of legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care.
But the mammoth 5,593-page bill – part of an omnibus appropriations package that wraps 12 spending measures into one – also contains a raft of unexpected items that are not directly related to government funding or pandemic relief efforts, such as establishing two new branches of the Smithsonian museum near the National Mall, creating national standards for the horse-racing industry and making illegal streaming a felony.
Congress overwhelmingly passed the bill, which became available to lawmakers just a few hours before they were expected to vote on it — to the chagrin of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
"This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, linking to a story about the legislation making illegal streaming a felony. "Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours. This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking."
Graham said that the United States has to "compete with China" because they are everywhere." He also said that he likes the coronavirus package "in the sense that it is targeted."
A family of four will get $2,400 and small businesses are eligible to get another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, while $38 billion will go to distributing the vaccine, he explained.
"So this is sausage making, but the Democrats have a say. They run the House. And if they ever get the House, the Senate and the White House, it will be a financial disaster for this country, so vote in Georgia."