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Lindsey Graham: 'Joe Manchin Is Telling the World Reconciliation as a Way to Pass Any More Spending Is Dead'

Tuesday on FNC’s “Fox News Primetime,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he was not surprised his colleague Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out to oppose the so-called Build Back Better agenda promoted by President Joe Biden.

According to Graham, one of the takeaways was Manchin was “telling the world” reconciliation to pass spending bills was dead.

Partial transcript as follows:

KILMEADE: Senator, as I was surprised, Bret Baier was, when Senator Manchin came out and said it’s over. I’m done on Build Back Better. You’re probably one of the few people not surprised. Why?

GRAHAM: Not at all.

KILMEADE: And where do we go from here?

GRAHAM: Well, I listened to Joe Manchin rather than yell at him. I listened to what he was saying very closely. He told me he thought that the $1.75 trillion CBO score was the result of budget gimmicks, that if these programs don’t sunset, it would be more like five or 6 trillion. So, what did I do? I asked the CBO to score the bill. Build Back Better without the sunsets. Assuming the programs go on for 10 years, which they will. Well, they said it was $5 trillion, not $1.75 trillion.

Joe always believed that these programs would add to the deficit. Biden said everything is paid for. What did the CBO tell us? $3 trillion is added to the debts of over 10 years and the energy part of Build Back Better will drive gas prices up.

So, I listened to what he said. The CBO analysis that I requested made it impossible for Joe Manchin to vote for Build Back Better, because he had three rules. Number one, you can’t use gimmicks. Number two, it can’t add to the deficit. Number three, it can’t make inflation worse. And the CBO analysis I think, proves all three would occur if Build Back Better were passed.

KILMEADE: Two quick topics before we go on the same subject. First off, you believe that reconciliation with this is done. But there might be a pathway because there’s some things in this bill that Republicans would go along with. Real quick. How do you explain that? Because it seems like a green palooza?

GRAHAM: Well, yes, all the green stuff will go. Their Green New Deal stuff will go. But Child Tax Credits, Donald Trump in 2017 created Child Tax Credits. Maybe we can work to build upon those, childcare. There is a group of Republicans trying to find a way to help people with childcare, with driving – without driving cost up and government takeover childcare.

Here’s the headline. Joe Manchin is telling the world reconciliation as a way to pass any more spending is dead. He has ditched reconciliation. He wants us to use the committee process. And I’m here to tell you, there’s one or two things in this bill that maybe Republicans and Democrats can work together on. But Build Back Better is dead.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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