The Corner

Graham Threatens to ‘Object’ to Deal, Demands Vote on Vitter Amendment

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) tells me he will “object” to any pending fiscal deal, unless the Senate concurrently votes on the Vitter amendment, which would end federal contributions to congresional health-care plans.

“We’re in a compromised situation, but I’m going on offense,” Graham explains, in an interview at Pete’s Diner on Capitol Hill. “Members of Congress and their staffs should not be exempted from Obamacare, and I’m going to insist that if the Senate wants to move forward on any deal, we have to overturn the [Office of Personnel Management’s] ruling on congressional employees,” or, at the least, force senators to vote on it in the coming days.

“Now, I hope the House rises to the occasion here,” Graham continues. “But we’re down to stopping bad things, and the only bad thing at this point that we can really push on is the OPM rule. At this point, I’m not sure if we’re going to get it, so I’m going to object on any deal until I get that up-or-down vote. That’s only fair, and I believe the American people will be with me.”

Graham’s pledge to “object” to any deal that doesn’t include a vote on the Vitter amendment could shake up the ongoing Senate negotiations. Senate Democrats aren’t interested in having that vote, and they’ve asked Graham to not make this eleventh-hour demand. “But the Democrats have moved the goal posts on a reasonable deal,” he says. ”I know we can’t complain too much about our self-inflicted wounds, but the Democrats have gone too far.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular


My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More