Lindsey Graham explodes at Kyrsten Sinema: “You’re not convincing me I’m the problem”

Lindsey Graham and Kyrsten Sinema
Lindsey Graham and Kyrsten Sinema clash on the Senate floor (Photo: YouTube)

Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) got into an unusually heated exchange on the Senate Floor yesterday

Graham was discussing his opposition to the border deal. Sinema (previously Democratic and now Independent,) had worked on the 250-page bill with bipartisan support over the past few months. She says this included Senator Graham’s team.

The bipartisan border deal failed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 49 to 50. It needed 60 votes.

Sinema was unhappy with Graham blocking the bill. She was particularly frustrated that he voted against the “motion to proceed”. She pointed out that if he had voted in favor, he and other senators could suggest amendments to parts they thought needed tweaking.

It probably did not help when Graham called Sinema’s bill a “half-ass” attempt at solving mass immigration.

Graham did say the bill “did a pretty good job in many ways” but added, “I didn’t think it was enough.”

When pushed further by Sinema, a rattled Graham said he didn’t trust Senate leaders to follow due process and allow for amendments.

“Here is what I’m saying. This has been a half-ass effort to deal with border security,” he said.

“I didn’t see any willingness by anybody to allow an amendment process where we could deal with the border issue,” Graham said hotly. “That’s ass-backwards.”

“This idea we’ve done enough on the border is BS. I’m not going to help Ukraine until we’ve done a better job helping ourselves.”

“We got the crap kicked out of us for weeks”

Graham suggested to Sinema that rather than push for the legislation to move forward and then debate amendments, the sponsors should have reached out to lawmakers in advance to ask them what they’d like to see changed to gain their support.

Sinema later pushed him again. She says the only way amendments could have been made to the bill was if Graham had voted for the motion to proceed.

Graham pointed out he’d been involved with the last mass immigration bill in 2013. He said he and fellow lawmakers had debated it for “weeks” and it had involved a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.

“We got the crap kicked out of us for weeks. We did not do that here.”

“You’re not convincing me I’m the problem,” Graham snapped back, pointing his finger at Sinema.

Sinema’s claim that Graham and his team were involved in agreeing the deal was backed up by Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who also sponsored the legislation.

“His top staff were in the room when we negotiated the bill. We negotiated key provisions directly with him,” he said.

Watch below. It begins to get heated from the 3.21 mark.

Donald Trump urges GOP not to support border deal

The border bill was bundled together with billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Former President Donald Trump had urged Republican lawmakers to vote against the bill. Some commentators have suggested it plays into his hands if the mass immigration at the border remains a problem in the run-up to the election. Others say Democrats will now point to Republicans and blame them for not passing legislation to ease mass immigration.

President Biden accused Republicans of “walking away because they’ve got Donald Trump calling and threatening them.”

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