U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) released the following statement on passage of legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff:
"Last night, the Senate passed legislation, which prevents the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for 99 percent of Americans. Without this legislation, there will be a dramatic increase in every American's taxes. Additionally, without this legislation, draconian cuts to our national defense will take place. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said these cuts would be like "shooting ourselves in the head."
"Finally, this legislation reverses the President's decision to give Congress a pay raise.
"While it is unfortunate the President refused to discuss spending cuts in this legislation, he will not have that luxury in the upcoming debt limit debate. The debt limit debate will be our best opportunity to get a handle on the out of control spending, which will bankrupt our nation if left unaddressed.
"I have repeatedly made it clear I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless we address why we are going further in debt. The time has come for the President to face up to the need to control federal spending and the growth of entitlements. If we do not change course in our spending habits, the United States will become Greece."