South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham joined me Wednesday to discuss the aftermath of the Charleston murders, the looming appeasement of Iran, and whether the filibuster in the Senate rules should be preserved even if it blocks a new Republican president from repealing Obamacare:
HH: So pleased to welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show United States Senator Lindsey Graham from Mason City, Iowa, this afternoon and evening. Hello, Senator Graham, welcome back.
LG: I am almost to the Music Man place.
HH: Welcome. I want to begin by asking you the straight up question, a lot of Republican candidates are calling to break the Senate filibuster rules in order to make sure we can repeal Obamacare, root and branch. Ted Cruz has just finished defending the filibuster. What’s Lindsey Graham say on that debate?
LG: I’m with Ted. Absolutely not. I would never vote to change the filibuster for Obamacare or anything else, because it served the country well. But what I would do is use reconciliation, the budget process that they used to pass Obamacare, to repeal Obamacare. But I wouldn’t change the Senate rules. Reconciliation only requires a majority vote if it’s in with the context of the budget. That’s how they passed Obamacare with 51 votes.
HH: Now there’s some analysis, and it’s good analysis, that parts of Obamacare cannot be done away with reconciliation.
LG: That’s true.
HH: Assume for a moment, that’s true, so would you break the filibuster to get rid of those?
LG: No. No.
HH: Why not?
LG: Because I think the filibuster served the country well. I think at the end of the day, any big change should get 60 votes. I think the whole purpose of the Senate is to make sure that you have to think about what you’re doing. They did Obamacare by 51 votes, and we had enough votes to stop them. They used reconciliation. But if you take part of it down under reconciliation, the rest of it falls. And it doesn’t really matter if you don’t win the White House, because if she’s in the White House, she will vote to veto it, and you’ve got to get an override. Continue Reading