Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced over the weekend during a visit to New Hampshire that if he were to become president, he would force Congress to reverse cuts to federal defense spending by using the military.
“I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to,” Graham said. “We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”
The totalitarian idea was first posted online by journalist Ron Noyes at BenSwann.com. According to Noyes, a spokesperson for Graham’s office declined to answer questions regarding the senator’s statement.
“What Lindsey Graham is proposing is to physically force members of Congress to vote how he commands,” Vox writer Amanda Taub wrote. “His plan violates constitutional separation of powers in just about the most extreme way imaginable, by forcing the executive branch’s will on the legislature.”
Taub added that Senate rules don’t grant the president authority to have the 101st Airborne Division occupy the Capitol. However, if Graham attempted the action, Taub pointed out that his first act as president would essentially be staging a coup.
Graham declined to attend this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and therefore gained just .1 percent of the vote in the conference’s annual straw poll.
Graham made the comment during the “Politics and Pie” forum hosted by the Concord City Republican Committee.
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