Lindsey Graham To President Biden: If You Want A $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, It's There For The Taking | Video | RealClearPolitics

Lindsey Graham To President Biden: If You Want A $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, It's There For The Taking

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of 21 lawmakers who have come up with a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, delivered this message to President Biden during an appearance on "FOX News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.

"President Biden, if you want an infrastructure deal of a trillion dollars, it's there for the taking. You just need to get involved and lead," Graham said.


WALLACE: You're a member of the so-called bipartisan Group of 21, which is 10 Democratic senators and 11 Republican senators, who’ve come up with a roughly $1 trillion package on infrastructure.

A couple of questions. First of all, how close are you to a deal with the White House? And what's the effective deadline for reaching an agreement?

GRAHAM: Well, I think -- I’m the newest member so I got a call from Rob Portman, would you like to join the group? And I said, yes, because I’d like to get something done.

I think the difference between this negotiation and the earlier negotiation is that we’re willing to add more new money to infrastructure in this package and I am hopeful if the White House and Joe Biden stay involved, we can get there.

I would just say this: President Biden, if you want an infrastructure deal of a trillion dollars, it's there for the taking. You just need to get involved and lead.

WALLACE: Democrats on the left say -- again, on the left say that the only way they’ll agree to this bipartisan infrastructure package is if there's another, separate, much bigger, maybe even $6 trillion, spending and tax package that would be passed on a straight party line vote through the Senate. Take a look.

GRAHAM: Right.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I think it would be very difficult to find the votes for that in the House unless there was a simultaneous movement and agreement of the full reconciliation package with 50 votes in the Senate.

WALLACE: Question, Senator: would you support -- will you support and infrastructure compromise with Democrats if you understand that at the same time, they may pass a separate $6 trillion spending and big tax package on a straight party line vote in the Senate?

GRAHAM: That could be very problematic. I’m going to sit down and talk with my colleagues.

But $6 trillion being spent through reconciliation is more money than we spent two win World War II. Infrastructure to me is roads and bridges and ports -- and electrical vehicles are fine. I don't want to raise taxes to pay for it.

But the gas tax hasn't been adjusted for inflation, the federal gas tax, since the 1990s. I would be willing to do that. An infrastructure bank is on the table, using unspent COVID money.

So I would just say to President Biden, you've got a party that's divided. You've got a Republican Party that's willing to meet you in the middle for a trillion dollars of infrastructure that could fundamentally change the way America does business in roads, ports, and bridges and accelerate electrical vehicles. You've got to decide what kind of president you are and what kind of presidency you want.

So, if you want to work with Republicans to spend a trillion dollars of -- on infrastructure, it's available to you. If you don't want to go that route and you pick a $6 trillion reconciliation package, I think you'll get a lot of pushback from every Republican.

WALLACE: So just to button this up, you're saying that you could not vote for the compromise in one area if there's this other big spending and tax package in another?

GRAHAM: That would be a problem for me. I’ll have to talk to the rest of my colleagues but that is a -- that will be a very big sticking point because $6 trillion is more than we spent on World War II. And what they're calling infrastructure, the liberal left, to me, is not remotely related to what's traditionally been called infrastructure. It's just -- it’s just a power grab by the Democratic Party in every area of our lives.
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