“July the 31st is when this expires and I promise you, over our dead bodies, this will get reauthorized,” Lindsey Graham warned earlier this week in front of the entire COVID-19 advisory team of South Carolina.
It’s tough talk for an election year when you’re telling your base that you won’t back down on a definitive policy. The problem is – this is a terrible choice of words considering the situation – and Graham who made news a few months ago when he was exposed to the virus, should probably know better.
It gets worse when you understand the context of what he said. One thing that Graham has been particularly militant about lately, is making sure unemployment benefits passed down to people in the next coronavirus relief package aren’t too generous or people might refuse to go back to work when states finally do re-open. The CARES Act adds $600 per week in unemployment benefits, something he and 46 fellow Republicans in the Senate fought against unsuccessfully.
Graham’s seat, long thought to be safe in a reliably red state, was recently downgraded to “Lean Republican” in the Cook Political Report, meaning his opponent Jaime Harrison is gaining some traction. South Carolina also plans to lift its state of emergency declaration by May 12, after already re-opening its beaches, meaning the state might be looking at a second wave of the virus by July. Expect these words to stick to Graham for awhile – longer than any of his delusional defenses of Donald Trump.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making