Although Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has become a favorite among President Donald Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill throughout the president’s first term, he will soon lose a key chairmanship on a powerful chamber committee.
As Breitbart explained, however, he will be replaced on the Senate immigration committee by fellow GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who is seen by some experts as a better fit due to his more hawkish view on the issue.
“That’s much improved”
Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies, explained why Graham, who also serves as the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, is not necessarily the right person to head up the immigration panel.
He noted that upcoming immigration proposals are likely to be pushed toward the left if Democratic nominee Joe Biden is ultimately certified as the winner of the presidential race — and Graham might not be strong enough to push back.
“If the [judiciary] committee that is in charge of immigration matters is overseen by Grassley, that’s much improved from the perspective of immigration control [advocates], because Grassley is much more hawkish than Graham,” Krikorian said.
Going on to note Graham’s membership in the controversial “Gang of Eight,” which proposed in 2013 a bill that some critics said amounted to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, Krikorian acknowledged that the senator has changed his views since Trump took office.
Nevertheless, “he is still not an immigration hawk in any meaningful way,” the immigration advocate said of Graham.
“The Senate is a club”
Krikorian went on to explain that the spirit of the Senate would work to the Republican Party’s favor when Grassley takes the helm of the committee — even if Democrats manage to win the White House or control of the Senate.
“The Senate is a club, even today, and much of its work is based on collegiality and mutual dealmaking, so the chairmanship would give Grassley — as a practical matter – a kind of [informal] veto over bad immigration bills,” he argued.
One of his first tests in the role is likely to come as Congress determines how to proceed with the latest version of the Democratic Party-sponsored HEROES Act, a COVID-19 relief bill that includes a number of provisions meant to aid undocumented immigrants.
In 2018, President Donald Trump backed an immigration bill proposed by Grassley.
He said at the time: “I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill and to oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill these four pillars — that includes opposing any short-term ‘Band-Aid’ approach.”