Graham: I’m making defense spending push ‘my No. 1 reason to live’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday pledged to revive a fight over military spending when the Senate takes up its defense funding bill. 
“I think they’re going to get to vote again, and I think I am going to go all over the country and talk about what we the Congress are doing to those who serve us,” Graham told reporters Friday. “I am making it my No. 1 reason to live.” 
{mosads}Graham’s comments come after lawmakers rejected a push by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Graham’s ally in the Senate, to add $18 billion for the Pentagon and military branches to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 
The move sets up a fight over the NDAA with the House, which included extra money in its version of the legislation. The push fell short by four votes after 11 GOP senators — largely concerned about spending more money and the Pentagon’s war fund — voted with Democrats against it. 
Graham, however, pledged that he would approach each of the fiscal hawks individually and urge them to reconsider before the Senate takes up its separate defense appropriations bill. 
“I am going to break the back of this movement,” he added. “Not one member of the appropriations committee is going to be asked to go fight [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.]” 
Graham’s effort will likely face pushback from conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation, because the extra money isn’t paid for. 
The South Carolina Republican brushed off those concerns, saying lawmakers have created “a hurricane or a tornado on steroids” with the defense cuts. 
Tags Appropriation bill John McCain Lindsey Graham National Defense Authorization Act

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