Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Monday harshly criticized the debt ceiling deal reached between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and President Joe Biden over the weekend, saying he prefers to raise the debt limit for 90 days to fix what he called "this disaster for defense."
Graham, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said his main gripe with the deal is how it keeps Biden's proposed defense budget for the 2024 fiscal year intact, a budget he has called "a joke."
"I will use all powers available to me in the Senate to have amendment votes to undo this catastrophe for defense," Graham tweeted. "I support raising the debt limit for 90 days to give us a chance to correct this disaster for defense."
"Have total disgust for political leaders' decision to make it remotely possible to gut our national security apparatus at a time of great peril," he wrote. "Take this absurd idea off the table."
Biden's $886 billion defense budget for the 2024 fiscal year is a 3.2% increase, which is below the rate of inflation, Graham told Fox News on Sunday. Graham also said he objects because the defense budget slashes the number of ships in the Navy from 298 to 291, at a time when China is beefing up its navy. Biden's Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, said last February that China has approximately 340 ships and seeks to have 400 by 2030.
"Republicans and Democrats both have been screaming about the rise and growing threat of China," Graham wrote in another tweet Monday. "The Biden budget in '24 and '25 sets in motion the reduction of Navy ships. This is welcome news to China."
Graham also lamented on Twitter that "nothing in this bill provides weapons or technology to help Ukraine defeat [Vladimir] Putin and make the world more stable."
"To Biden, [Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, and McCarthy, what are we going to do about our own national defense as well as our support of Ukraine?" he wrote. "We need to know."
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