Democratic lawmakers in Texas fled the state to prevent Republicans from pushing through legislation they opposed. In DC, Sen. Lindsey Graham says he and his fellow Republicans should consider copying the strategy. "Hell, yeah, I would leave," Graham told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News on Sunday, per the Hill. The South Carolina senator said it would be worth it to block Democrats from passing a $3.5 trillion spending package. Democrats are considering using a procedure known as budget reconciliation that would allow them to avoid a filibuster and pass the measure with a bare majority. As USA Today notes, Graham's departure alone wouldn't be enough to stop Democrats.
At least 51 senators must present for the chamber to conduct business, meaning all of Graham's fellow Republicans would have to join him. "To my Republican colleagues, we may learn something from our Democratic friends in Texas when it comes to avoiding a $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend package: Leave town," says Graham, who argues that the spending package is too large and would fuel "rampant inflation." He notes that Vice President Kamala Harris has met with and praised the Texas lawmakers who used the strategy, adding, "Hey, Vice President Harris, if you think these people are heroes, well then I expect you to show up and pat us on the back." (At least five of the Texas Democrats who fled their state have since contracted COVID.)