Sen. Graham: Deal Does Not Significantly Change Spending

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 04:50 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he opposes the debt-reduction compromise because  spending cuts in the deal do not change the big government “dynamic.” Graham also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday he is extremely concerned about the possibility of Pentagon budget cuts.
 
“Here’s my concern: It really doesn’t, in my view, cut spending in a way to say that we've changed the dynamic that got us into $14 trillion in debt,” Graham said. “There’ll be more debt — $7 trillion over 10 years. The amount of spending cut in 2012 is $21 billion. That’s two-and- a-half days of federal spending.”
 
Graham said he was concerned that “every penny of the $2.3 trillion” in the proposed debt ceiling hike will be borrowed.
 
“The average length of time we extend the debt ceiling since 1940 has been nine months — we chose 22 months here, and we’re borrowing $2.3 trillion, which is historic,” he said. “Why we did that as Republicans, I don’t know. President Obama wants this to end — he wants to have no more of these debates until January 2013.”
 
Graham noted that since the House comprises only one third of the federal government the leadership probably ended up with the best deal it could negotiate — but it is not enough to garner his vote. In addition, he was extremely concerned about possible defense cuts.

“What gets me the most, is the defense side. Under this agreement, our defense budget could be cut up to a trillion dollars,” Graham said. “The trigger . . . if this joint committee doesn’t produce the $1.2 trillion, the agreement says that 50 percent of the $1.2 trillion comes out of the defense budget.

“We’re already cutting it $400 billion. Our new chairman of the Joint Chiefs nominee said it’s difficult to find $400 billion in cuts. I believe $800 billion would be extremely difficult, very high risk,” he said. “And at the end of the day, what we’ve done as Republicans is put the defense cuts on the table at a level I could never envision as a Republican. The biggest loser of this clearly would be the men and women in uniform.”

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