Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got slapped with a brutal fact-check by Fox News host Chris Wallace when he began lying about the voting rights legislation compromise bill that has been suggested by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) during an appearance on the network Sunday morning.
Wallace began the interview with Graham by asking if he could support the Manchin version of the For the People Act:
“Sen. Manchin took out a lot of the basic Senate plans, S1, the For the People Act, like public financing of congressional elections. Can you go along with the Manchin stripped-down version? And if not, why not?”
“I like Joe Manchin a lot. But we had the largest turnout in the history of the United States [in 2020] and states are in charge of voting in America. So I don’t like the idea of taking the power to redistrict away from state legislators.
“You’re having people move from blue states to red states. Under this proposal, you’d have some kind of commission redraw the new districts and I don’t like that. I want states where people are moving to have control over how to allocate the new congressional seats.”
The South Carolina Republican then declared he would vote against Manchin’s version of the bill:
“In my view, SR1 is the biggest power grab in this history of the country. It mandates ballot harvesting, no voter ID, it does away with the states being able to redistrict when you have population shifts. It’s just a bad idea.”
And that’s when Wallace began pointing out all of the lies Graham had just told:
“Joe Manchin would say, ‘A lot of the stuff that you just objected to is not in my bill. His is a stripped-down version and he doesn’t talk about an independent commission.
“He just says ban partisan gerrymandering. And as you know, the Constitution does provide federal oversight of state elections.”
The Fox host then warned Graham that GOP refusal to work in a bipartisan fashion could come back to haunt them as it relates to the filibuster:
“If Republicans kill — if you vote as it appears you’re going to, to kill the Manchin version of voting rights, you’ve already, Republicans, voted to kill the bipartisan January 6th commission looking into the insurrection at the Capitol, do you run the risk that Manchin and a couple of other moderate senators will eventually say, ‘Look, bipartisanship isn’t working and you know what? We’re not going to kill the filibuster but we’re going to reduce the number of votes you need to stop a debate from 60 to 55?’ Do you run that risk?”
Graham sheepishly replied:
“I hope not. When we had the Senate, the House, and the White House under President Trump, I had a bunch of Democrats wanting to sign a letter with me protecting the filibuster. So I was beat on every day. Why don’t you give in and agree with President Trump to change the rules so we can get the Trump agenda through? I said, no, I don’t think it would be good for the country.”
Trying to sound tough, Graham then added:
“I’m not going to be extorted here. I’m asking no more of my Democrat [sic] colleagues than I ask of myself. It was very unpleasant to be beat on every day by the president of the United States, President Trump, and his allies to try to change the rules in the Senate to have their way.”
But what Graham neglected to mention is that Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ended the Senate filibuster on Supreme Court nominees in 2017. So the GOP has indeed changed filibuster rules in the past.
Democrats need to reform the filibuster rules ASAP. It’s the only way anything will ever get done in the Senate.
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