South Carolina county GOP censures Sen. Lindsey Graham after he voted for $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
  • Lindsey Graham was censured by the Aiken County Republican Party over his support of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
  • The local GOP said the bill "dramatically degrades the rights of existing American businesses."
  • Graham was one of 19 Republicans who joined all 50 Senate Democrats in endorsing the bill.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was censured by the Aiken County Republican Party this week, with the organization highlighting his support of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, according to the Aiken Standard.

The local party, which is based in one of the most solidly Republican counties in the state, said Graham "consciously violated the platform of the South Carolina Republican Party" in censuring the four-term senator, alleging that he "opened the door for additional Chinese investment in American projects" which would heighten "the threat to our national security."

The landmark legislation, which will infuse federal money into some of the country's most pressing road, highway, and bridge projects, passed in a 69-30 vote on Tuesday, garnering the support of all 50 Senate Democrats and 19 Republicans.

After the bill passed, Graham praised the legislation as beneficial to the citizens of the Palmetto State.

"The bipartisan infrastructure bill is good for South Carolina," he said in a statement on Tuesday. "It provides much-needed help for our roads, bridges, ports, and expands broadband internet access. I have always been supportive of infrastructure investment and wish we had passed this years ago."

He added: "This bill provides American infrastructure with a much-needed face lift."

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While high-profile Republicans like Graham and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky voted in support of the bill, former President Donald Trump has spent weeks criticizing the legislation, calling it "a disgrace" despite entreaties by GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio for him to back the legislation, which was carefully crafted by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators.

The Aiken County GOP said Graham's support of the bill was akin to endorsing the policy platform of the Democratic Party.

"Support of the 'Invest in America Act' is tantamount to supporting the Socialist Marxist agenda of the House and Senate Democrats who are using climate change as a way to force businesses and private citizens into tyrannical government compliance against our free enterprise system," the party said in their censure of the senator.

They added: "This bill fails to address border security, sets no limits to the fiscal impact of 'Green infrastructure,' and dramatically degrades the rights of existing American businesses. He willfully neglected to act within the fiscal conservative agenda we elected him to diligently uphold."

Sen. Tim Scott, Graham's home state colleague and a potential 2024 presidential candidate, took a different tack and sided against the legislation.

"I support targeted investment in upgrading our nation's roads, bridges, ports, broadband, and other real infrastructure needs," he said in a statement. "But I cannot support more reckless spending on unrelated pet projects that will suffocate our future generations with mountains of debt."

He added: "Rather than taking a common sense approach to investing in infrastructure, this bill has been rushed through so Democrats can spend trillions more dollars we don't have on liberal policies we don't need - all amid record inflation. American families cannot afford to foot the bill for this 'spend now, tax later' plan, which is why I voted no."

The bill now goes to the House, where it is likely to be linked to a separate $3.5 trillion "human infrastructure" reconciliation package which Democrats hope to approve in a party-line vote that would only require a simply majority for passage.

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