Lindsey Graham: Time for the 'Gang of 60'

One of the founding members of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" on immigration says the group will exist no longer -- rep...

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 9:57 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2018 9:57 PM

One of the founding members of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" on immigration says the group will exist no longer -- replaced by efforts to build a much larger coalition.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican fresh off a victory in his efforts to pass a short-term government funding bill until February 8 with a commitment from the Senate majority leader to consider immigration on the Senate floor, said Monday that efforts going forward will be a new group.

"Be constructive, just be constructive," Graham advised Trump

Graham spent the weekend negotiating with the two parties' leaders

"Oh yeah," Graham told reporters when asked if he was describing the end of the six-member talks.

"The Gang of Six started the process," Graham said. "That's all it was there to do. We need the Gang of 60. So the Gang of Six is going to be replaced by the Gang of 60."

It generally requires 60 senators to advance legislation in the Senate, and Republicans currently only hold a 51-49 majority.

Graham joined Senate No. 2 Democrat Dick Durbin in building the bipartisan six-member talks, which included two other Republicans and two other Democrats. Their months-long negotiations on immigration resulted in a proposal they briefed to President Donald Trump -- who rejected it in vulgar terms.

The dismissal of that deal partly led to the short government shutdown over the weekend, as Democrats were joined by Graham and fellow member of the gang, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, in rejecting a four-week continuing resolution and demanding progress on immigration. Graham and Flake spent the weekend shuttling between Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's offices trying to broker a deal to end the impasse.

Graham also joined roughly 20 other senators, split evenly by party, who spent the weekend meeting in the office of Maine Sen. Susan Collins and working to find a deal they could take to their respective leadership.

That group, Graham said, should form the basis of talks going forward -- which he said should include more than immigration and also deal with disaster relief, defense spending and overall budget negotiations.

"It's not winning just to take a vote on immigration," he said.

Graham said he would also talk to conservative hardliners who rejected the Gang of Six bill, like Georgia Sen. David Perdue and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, for their ideas.

"Let's get new senators working on building on what's out there and see if we can get 60 votes," Graham said. "The people who kind of were involved in helping the leaders reopen the government need to stay involved in finding solutions."

Graham said the effort begins "today."

"There's no taking a break here," he said, hoping for progress by the State of the Union next week.

And he had a piece of advice for Trump, with whom he has had a fraught relationship since the meeting at the White House where his deal was rejected.

"Be constructive, just be constructive," Graham said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 787421

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1114521765
Mobile708161234
Madison49744633
Baldwin36201495
Shelby36186315
Tuscaloosa33818548
Montgomery33135678
Lee22590220
Calhoun21140410
Morgan19795335
Etowah19188462
Marshall17659274
Houston16788386
St. Clair15408305
Cullman14568258
Limestone14553188
Elmore14444264
Lauderdale13486281
Talladega12932236
DeKalb12174237
Walker10561330
Blount9693157
Autauga9652137
Jackson9363158
Coffee8847175
Dale8584173
Colbert8508184
Tallapoosa6661181
Escambia6585121
Covington6432167
Chilton6372144
Russell605355
Franklin5779101
Chambers5398134
Marion4789120
Dallas4694189
Clarke462279
Pike461597
Geneva4396117
Winston425295
Lawrence4112108
Bibb408581
Barbour346570
Marengo326285
Butler318190
Monroe318153
Randolph305256
Pickens304474
Henry301358
Hale292285
Cherokee289455
Fayette279073
Washington245248
Crenshaw237970
Cleburne235251
Clay228365
Macon219258
Lamar196243
Conecuh181846
Lowndes170758
Coosa169935
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136437
Sumter124436
Greene121243
Choctaw73427
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