Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted Sunday that Democrats won’t have the votes to limit an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, arguing instead that a bipartisan consensus has emerged to extend them at all income levels for two to three years.
“I’m not going to vote to raise taxes on anybody,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“There will be bipartisan support in the lame duck to extend all of the tax cuts for two or three years,” he said.
Graham was equally dour in his outlook on two other key issues facing the Senate during the lame duck, dismissing the chances that the chamber will pass either the DREAM Act immigration bill or a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.
Graham argued that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal is a “political promise made by Sen. Obama when he was running for president. … There’s no groundswell of support.”
“In a lame-duck setting, I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” he added.
He also warned that the DREAM Act, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military, “is going nowhere” in the lame-duck session.
Meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) accused Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and other Republicans of politicizing the debate over the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia. “There’s some game-playing going on with the START treaty. … It’s all about trying to damage our president,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Instead of hiding behind the skirts of Jon Kyl, I hope the Republicans look” to Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Dick Lugar (Ind.) for leadership, McCaskill said, noting that he and other Republicans have backed the treaty.
McCaskill also acknowledged that she is facing a difficult re-election fight in 2012 but said she relishes the possibility of a tough race. “I’m used to being an underdog. … I’m anticipating being an underdog in this election,” she said.
However, McCaskill did look to distance herself from President Barack Obama, who has become increasingly unpopular in her home state of Missouri. “I’m opposed to cap-and-trade, I voted against omnibus, I voted against the second round of cash for clunkers,” she said, adding that she felt the decision to move forward with the health care overhaul during the height of the recession may not have been the best use of Congress’ time.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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