Lindsey Graham's Political Views
Senator Graham on the Issues
Senior South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the Republican Party's rising leaders and has been mentioned by some as a potential candidate to become the Republican Nominee for President in 2016. But what does Graham believe about U.S. foreign policy, the financial crisis, immigration policy, and health care reform? A past supporter of a comprehensive energy reform bill to address climate change, does Senator Graham still believe in global warming? This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at Senator Graham's political views to determine where he stands on the important issues of the day.
Graham's Political Views
1. Immigration Reform: Senator graham supported the immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy in 2006 as well as the comprehensive immigration reform bill of 2007, both which were not passed by the Senate as a whole. Generally Graham is viewed as a moderate on immigration issues, often disagreeing with members of his own party on the need for reform, once stating, "We are going to solve this problem. We're not going to run people down. We're not going to scapegoat people. We're going to tell the bigots to shut up, and we're going to get this right." Graham has also expressed his concern about the 14th Amendment's granting of citizenship to anyone born in the United States, saying "Birthright Citizenship I think is a mistake."
2. Foreign Policy: Senator Graham has been a strong proponent of continuing the war in Afghanistan. An active member of the Air Force Reserve who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a JAG lawyer while on recess from Congress, Graham consistently voted to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq while those wars were ongoing. In recent years, Graham has been a vocal critic of President Obama's Foreign Policy in the Middle East, particularly as it relates to Iran, telling reporters "the Iranians don’t fear nor do they respect him [President Obama], and our allies in the region don’t trust the president."
3. Budget Deficits/Economic Growth: Graham supports making the tax cuts implemented under former President Bush permanent and generally is a fiscal conservative. Graham voted against the stimulus bill in 2008, telling reports that "this bill stinks...we're not being smart." In July 2010, Graham voted against extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, on the grounds that the money should have come by cutting other programs in the federal budget. Graham supported the re-appointment of Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, in March of 2010.
4. Climate Change/Energy Independence: In the past Senator Graham has spoken of the need for a comprehensive energy reform bill to pass climate change. In December, 2009, Graham co-sponsored a letter (along with Senators Joe Lieberman and John Kerry) to President Obama outlining a possible energy reform bill. However, in the spring of 2010 Graham has since dropped his support for the bill, stating that "the science about global warming has changed...I think they've oversold a lot of this stuff, quite frankly." Graham also opposes any restrictions on off-shore oil drilling.
5. Health Care Reform: Senator Graham voted against the health care reform bill passed by Congress and supported by President Obama in 2010. Graham called the bill a "multi-trillion dollar health care nightmare" and has expressed his desire to repeal it as soon as possible.
6. Social Issues: Senator Graham is very conservative on social issues, receiving a 100% rating from the pro-life organization NRLC and a 0% rating from the pro-choice organization NARAL. He voted for the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and yes on a potential constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
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