Graham Votes in Favor of Hate Crimes

October 13, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC - R)

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC - R)

We learned today that the Senator everyone loves to hate in South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, did not vote on the amendment to include Hate Crimes in the National Defense Authorization Act and subsequently voted in favor of passing S.1390 (87/7) to be presented to committee and eventually the President.

The legislation was completely hidden from public view.  Why you may ask?  Because America and the media outlets granted their full attention to the Sotomayor confirmation hearings.  We know good and well Senator Graham was in Washington because he was taking part in the confirmation hearings.

After the hearings, Graham voted on an amendment to S.1390 at 5:40pm on July 16th.  The hate crimes amendment was voted on at 10:51pm on July 16th, passing 63/28.

Granted, Senator Graham’s absence did not effectively cause the bill to pass, but being the coalition builder he is, one would have hoped that he could have convinced the leadership to keep this out of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Senator Jim DeMint voted no on the amendment and bill passage.

There was a motion to adopt Amendment 1611 that would have killed the Hate Crimes Legislation.  Sen. Kyl entered in the record for Senator Graham that he would have voted on the amendment that would have called for a study and effectively axe the Hate Crimes Legislation.  This can be found in roll call vote 231 also taken on July 16, 2009.  Here is the link to the Congressional Record you will need to click on the link inside the congressional record to Page S7633 (this may be a temporary link).

Mr. Bishop from Senator Graham’s office has left a comment below and you can read further to see where Senator Graham voted no in the conference committee meeting.

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  • Mike Reino

    Someone must have gotten to him since then, because he and DeMint both voted against the Defense Budget this week, because of the Hate Crime bobtail slapped on it..They didn’t have many friends, because the vote 93-7 for it.

    • Gary Coats

      Mike, I couldn’t find that in the Congressional Record or the Senate site. Can you provide a link?

  • Mike Reino

    Here you go, Gary. Actually it mentions the addition of the hate crime bobtail on Jim Clyburn’s vote on the House Bill.

  • Kevin Bishop

    Gary, not sure where you are getting your information from but it is incorrect.

    Senator Graham has consistently voted against the Hate Crimes legislation in both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. He also discussed his opposition to the Hate Crimes provision in great length at the Greenville town hall meeting this week. (

    The Senate voted to include the hate crimes provision on the defense authorization bill.

    Senator Graham did not make the vote, but he put a statement in the Congressional Record indicating that he would have opposed the hate crimes amendment. Cloture was invoked on the amendment by a vote of 63 – 28.

    NOT VOTING on cloture is the same as a NO vote since 60 affirmative votes are needed to cut off debate. (Basically, 59-0 is a loss on cloture, 60-0 is a win.)

    Here is the transcript of the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:

    Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Byrd) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy) are necessarily absent.

    Mr. KYL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander), the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Bond), the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning), the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker), the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham), the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Gregg), and the Senator from Florida (Mr. Martinez).

    Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) would have voted “nay,” the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) would have voted “nay,” the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham) would have voted “nay,” and the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker) would have voted “nay.”” (Congressional Record, July 16, 2009)

    While Senator Graham supported sending the defense authorization bill to conference, he did so while vigorously opposing the addition of hate crimes and telling Chairman Levin (D-Michigan) that he would not support a conference report that included hate crimes.

    In previous years, the Democrats removed hate crimes from the final defense authorization conference report. Unfortunately, this year they did not.

    As a result, Senator Graham joined 8 other Republican conferees – Senators Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger F. Wicker (Mississippi), George S. LeMieux (Florida), Richard Burr (North Carolina), David Vitter (Louisiana)– in NOT signing the conference report. (Sens. McCain and Collins were the only Republicans to sign.)

    The Senate has yet to take up the conference report for a final vote.

    I hope you will make a correction to your story and print my response in the comment section to clear up the erroneous information contained in this story.

    Kevin Bishop
    Communications Director
    U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

  • Nathan Earle

    This kind of shell game is exactly the method the Democratic leadership plans to use to ram unpopular, unconstitutional health care legislation through Congress.

  • tfagan

    I guess Senator Graham figured out the best way to fool the Republicans was to miss the vote thus avoiding a no vote and in so doing help to get it passed.

    I think Sarah Palin has it right, if Graham runs again, vote for the independent if the choise is a Democratic liberal or a Republican liberal.

    If the Denocratic and Republican liberals have thier way we will all be looking for a government hand out as the jobs continue to disappear.