Senator Lindsey Graham met with local media in Columbia Tuesday to send a message back to Washington and the White House.
“Mr. President, please be on notice that you will not get a blank check from Lindsey Graham when it comes to raising the debt ceiling,” Graham said from a podium at Colonial Printing Company.
The U.S. has hit its statutory debt limit of $16.4 trillion, setting the stage for the next fiscal showdown between the president and Congress.
“I am urging and pleading with the president to lead us, not confront us. Bring us together as Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did. Face the fact that Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt,” said Graham.
He said the location was appropriate to send the message, “We are printing money as fast as the machines can print it. We are blowing through $2.1 trillion every 17 months.”
AUDIO: Excerpt from Graham speech in Columbia (1:42)
Graham’s solutions are to adjust the Medicare retirement age to 67 years, means-test benefits and ask higher income recipients like himself to pay more and take less out because, Graham says “We can afford to.”