- Editor Philip Klein blasted Sen. Graham for his stance on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
- Graham criticized Democratic attempts to link the negotiated legislation with a reconciliation bill.
- In an op-ed, Klein argues that Republicans are being “duped” by President Biden.
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The editor of the conservative National Review Online on Friday called Sen. Lindsey Graham “an idiot” for thinking that President Joe Biden would approve bipartisan infrastructure legislation in the absence of a Democratic-led reconciliation bill.
In an op-ed column, Philip Klein gave a harsh assessment of the South Carolina Republican’s political acumen.
“Sen. Lindsey Graham is an idiot,” he wrote. “Don’t take it from me. Take it from Graham himself.”
Late last month, following weeks of bipartisan efforts to craft an infrastructure deal, Biden lauded the roughly $1 trillion legislative compromise. However, when the president linked signing the legislation to a separate reconciliation bill, Republicans in the group balked.
Biden quickly walked back his comments, which many perceived to be a veto threat, reassuring Republicans that he was committed to the bipartisan bill.
“The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do,” Biden said in a statement last month. “I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to … with vigor. It would be good for the economy, good for our country, good for our people. I fully stand behind it without reservation or hesitation.”
Graham, enraged over Biden’s earlier statement, accused the president of making the GOP “look like a f—ing idiot” for attempting to tie the two bills together.
However, Klein noted that “yet a week later, Graham is back on board with the bipartisan deal citing a statement Biden made to reassure Republicans.”
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On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said that the Democratic-controlled chamber wouldn’t take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill until she saw a Senate bill passed through reconciliation.
“Our caucus is very, very pleased with the bipartisan agreement that the President was able to achieve working with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate,” Pelosi said at the time. “What I said last week and I reiterate now is that in the House of Representatives that particular version as it is is something that we would take up once we see what the budget parameters are of the budget bill that the Senate will pass.”
Democrats want to pursue a larger bill through the Senate, using the reconciliation budget process that could survive in the 50-50 Senate with unanimous party support and a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
The second bill would focus on longstanding Democratic priorities including childcare, healthcare, and climate change, among other issues.
Klein argued that Pelosi’s comments show that “both Congressional Democrats and the White House view the two bills as linked. The only ones who don’t seem to understand that are Graham and the rest of the Republicans participating in the charade.”
He concluded: “Any Republican who signs on to this pile of hot garbage should be laughed at for getting duped by Biden. As Graham himself put it, ‘You look like a f—ing idiot now.'”