The 112th Congress was sworn into Washington this week, and Senator Lindsey Graham says he expects good things to come. He says “as long as there’s breath, there’s hope.”
The way I look at it from the Republican Party’s point-of-view, this is a second chance. In 2006 and 2008 we lost our majority, I think we kind of lost our way. The Iraq war was unpopular, so we suffered defeats in 2006 and in 2008. From 2008 to 2010, the Democratic Party got off in the left ditch. The stimulus bill, the Obama healthcare, the Financial Regulation Bill.
Graham says the GOP took majority this election cycle not because of popularity, but because voters wanted to see a change.
We were elected not because of people liking us as Republicans, but because people wanted checks and balances.
As for the four freshman congressman from South Carolina, Graham says they will be on the “leading edge” in getting America back to 2008 spending levels.
A lot of families and a lot of businesses had to basically cut their budget. The federal government has never had to do that, it’s time we start setting priorities, like families. I’m going to try and do some things on entitlement reform. It’s now time to adjust social security. For people 55 and under, we are going to have to adjust the retirement age because we are living longer.
Graham says despite the Republican-controlled House, there are still Democratic majorities in the Senate that are unlikely to provide the necessary votes for the GOP. For example, Graham says the Republicans are expected to repeal the Obama Administration’s health care plan in the House, but then it heads to the Senate.
The repeal of Obama healthcare will come out of the House probably January 12 with a big majority. But, for us to repeal the Obama healthcare bill, we have to get 60 votes and that’s going to be difficult to do. But, this debate is a good debate. What I want to do is form a partnership with House Republicans on spending, debt issues, reforming healthcare, so that we can be singing off the same sheet of music.
Anne Eller of affiliate WLMA spoke with Graham at the nation’s capital.