Graham of SC and Sanders discuss bipartisan serial politics

The purpose of Monday’s televised debate was to find political common ground between South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham and self-described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, two veteran US senators with not much in common.

The two agreed that social security has a solvency problem, that the future of the country’s transport will be electric and that Russian President Vladimir Putin “sucks”.

But on major policy solutions – from gun control, to taxes, to infrastructure, to health reform and to foreign trade – the two couldn’t have been further apart as they argued for 73 minutes on Monday at the Kennedy Institute in Boston.

“What you have is that he sees it as a problem. I see it as a problem, ”Sanders said, when moderator Bret Baier asked directly, for the second time, if the two saw common ground on budget and social security.

“I admire Senator Sanders. He has a message, he has solutions – I don’t think they will work. “Graham said.” I have never had such a hard time begging someone to vote their own bill. “

But on guns, for example, Graham said, “the bottom line is there are ways to do it, but it must be a bipartisan path. This is how it was in the past, so it will be in the future and I am ready to do so. But we have to stop this madness. What’s happening in Washington has to stop. “

Monday’s debate, which was to find bipartisan agreements, was moderated by Fox News host Baier, who covered economic policy and ongoing issues in America.

The long Oxford-style debate was announced on May 25 as an effort by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to revive the bipartisan debate in the United States Senate.

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a DC-based think tank promoting bipartisan policy solutions, said the US Senate’s “culture of seeking common ground and consensus” is often lost in the present day.

The event is part of a series called The Senate Project which will continue with a second debate next month.

Senators discuss arms, Putin and parties

The debate on arms legislationion – which was only discussed when the moderate debate ended and Sanders’ microphone interrupted it with static noises for about three minutes of confusion on the air – was quite inconclusive.

But the couple agreed that a new bipartisan framework for dealing with gun violence was a step forward.

Sanders said he would vote for the proposal that a bipartisan group of 20 senators recently agreed.

“I think it’s a step forward,” Sanders said. “I clearly think it doesn’t go far enough.”

The proposal states nine main points for curbing armed violence.

Provides money and resources for state intervention laws, mental health and telemedicine services, and school programs. It would also penalize straw purchases, protect victims of restricted domestic abuse, and improve the review process for under-21s attempting to purchase a firearm.

Sanders, of Vermont, noted hunting is popular with his constituents and is open-minded about gun ownership, but said he wants more from the bill. Asked for a concluding statement on the common ground found on gun legislation, Sanders said, “No comment.”

A joke from Graham about needing to “put a quarter” in the static speaker later, Graham said he was encouraged by Sanders’ open mind, but that a more comprehensive proposal would be impossible, citing the federal ban on assault weapons. of 2013 and its bankruptcy.

At the recurring point of the oil debate, Sanders proposed the urgency of electric vehicles and “thoughtful solutions” to foreign trade. Graham said the situation was “supply and demand” and the result of a Democrat-controlled government.

In addition to back and forth on the gas crisis and health care, both senators generally remained loyal to their party lines, with little or no agreement. The only apparent common ground found in the debate was that both senators agreed that Social Security has a solvency problem and inflation is rising negatively, but no shared solutions have been presented.

At one point during the debate Graham asked Sanders for an agreement that “Putin sucks”, to which Sanders replied, “I’m not in favor of vulgarity, but the intent is correct.”

Whether it was Sanders who called for the revival of democracy against the oligarchy or Graham who called for the return of a Republican-led economy, the two senators, both members of the Senate Budget Committee, will surely have to face all these disagreements again.

“I’m on the budget committee with Bernie. It was a blast. I loved it, ”Graham said.

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US Senator Lindsey Graham, RSC, and US Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
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Stephen Pastis is a reportage intern for the state government and political team. He is becoming a senior at the University of South Carolina, where he is the arts and cultural editor of his college newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, and has been a contributing writer for the Free Times Columbia.