By Alexander Bolton - 08/01/11 03:35 PM EDT
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) announced Monday he will oppose a deal to raise the debt limit by between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, putting pressure on House Republicans.
Graham’s opposition is significant because it will make it difficult for any of the five Republicans in South Carolina’s House delegation to support the deal.
“I cannot in good conscience support this deal. Simply stated, it locks us into more debt, bigger government and most devastating of all, a weakened defense infrastructure at a time when we face growing threats,” Graham said in a statement released Monday morning.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R), South Carolina’s other senator, also opposes the deal.
“I’m not going to tell Americans that we’re doing everything when we’re not,” he said. “We’re planning on adding another $10 trillion in debt.
“From the way it’s been explained to me there’s not much to like,” he added.
DeMint said he will not allow a Senate vote until he and his staff have had a chance to thoroughly review the legislation.
“I’ll be asking for the right to read it and go through it. That takes a while. They need to get us the bill so that we can print it out and start going through it,” he said. “This idea that you have to pass it to find out what’s in it doesn’t work. I’d like to read it to find out what’s in it, and I think a number of Republicans feel that way.”
The opposition of Graham and DeMint could affect efforts to pass the bill in the House. Both senators opposed an initial compromise plan crafted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to raise the debt limit, and Republican members of their state’s House delegation sided with them.
The opposition of the South Carolina delegation and other conservatives ultimately forced Boehner to withdraw his compromise plan and rework it to require congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment before raising the debt ceiling.