Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) visited Fox News's “America's Newsroom” on Thursday and had some strong words for the leaders of his party regarding the subject of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
The discussion began with Graham suggesting President Donald Trump should worry less about a solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) problem and more about repealing Obamacare. As the conversation progressed, Graham was quick to point out there is a “17-day” deadline (of sorts) on the matter of the repeal — after Sept. 30, any bill aiming to repeal Obamacare would need 60 votes as opposed to 51 — and that his newly presented bill is the best option to achieve the goal of a repeal in that time.
Host Shannon Bream then pressed Graham on a comment from one of his GOP colleagues: “[Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)] says what you are proposing is 'probably worse than just leaving it and doing nothing.' He says it is going nowhere.”
Graham then pointed out that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin came out in support of a block grant approach: “[Bevin] figured if I take the money that would have been spent on Obamacare and you give it to [Bevin] in Kentucky with flexibility I can get better outcomes for the citizens of Kentucky than some bureaucrat in Washington.”
He then pivoted to another Kentucky lawmaker, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he knows he will be in support of Graham's legislation, but that he hoped the majority leader would “make some time on the floor soon to have a debate worthy of a great party and a great country.”
“We should have this debate. We should have this vote,” he added. “We can do this.”
He then spoke directly to the leaders of his party: “And to the Republican leaders, you are all my friends, but you need to lead. We need leadership. We don't need commentary.”
The senator from South Carolina continued, saying “we need to have a game plan to get this done, and I am confident that if we got on the floor of the United States Senate talking about a block grant, Republicans would rally all over the country and come to our side and the average American would pick state-controlled health care over Bernie Sanders Washington-based health care.”
Bream, for her part, tried to change the subject to the issue of former FBI Director James Comey, but Graham chimed in with one last dig at the Republican leadership.
“Seventeen days. Either lead or get out of the way is my message,” he said.