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TheChat: Lindsey Graham says new Benghazi report is bull

Happy holiday week to you.

▪ “Full of crap.” — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on a new report on Benghazi that his own party led.

Graham, who has remained critical of the Obama administration’s role on Benghazi for months, is convinced the report is riddled with errors. Key administration officials misled Congress, Graham said.

▪ “It is a shame that so many veterans live at or below the federal poverty level.” — Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, in a news release on his proposal to expand Medicaid to military veterans. (link via johncombest.com)

With Missouri unwilling to expand Medicare under the Affordable Care Act, Silvey is going for Plan B, which is expanding it only to veterans. He’s filed a bill to do just that.

▪ “We don’t know what will happen, but we do know this is the position taken in the campaign and we’re hopeful that can be continued.” — Mark Tallman, associate director for advocacy at the Kansas Association of School Boards, saying he hopes the governor and GOP lawmakers don’t target education to make up a gaping budget hole.

Tallman and other education leaders are speaking out to remind Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP lawmakers of their rhetoric during the campaign when many promised no cuts to schools.

▪ “This is an insult to state employees.” — Missouri state Rep. Jay Barnes, a Jefferson City Republican, commenting on a proposal to raise the pay for statewide officials and lawmakers.

The problem, Barnes said, is state workers are the lowest paid in the nation, and this proposal does nothing to address that. Lawmakers are stomping on the pay-raise idea, but it takes a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly to reject it. This shapes up as an early test for the Republican-powered Legislature come January.

▪ “I am very concerned that the Republican Party does not have the resources to do the things that are necessary in 2016 to ensure Republican victories up and down the ballot.” — Republican John Hancock, who is challenging Ed Martin for the chairmanship of the Missouri Republican Party in the next few weeks.

Hancock, a former party executive director, is a highly respected consultant. Martin is a conservative and under his stewardship, the GOP just expanded its majority in the state House and Senate . This should be a very interesting race.

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