38 times Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News after skipping Senate hearings

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The South Carolina Republican missed hearings on pandemics, sexual assault, education funding, and drug prices.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is currently seeking his fourth term and campaigning on his work experience.

"South Carolina's Lindsey Graham has earned a reputation as a conservative, a problem-solver, and a leader who gets things done," his campaign website claims.

Over that time, however, Graham, who was first elected to the Senate in 2002, has also been a fixture on the right-leaning Fox News, often appearing several times a week.

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An examination of Senate hearing transcripts and Graham's television appearances reveals that he skipped scores of hearings for committees and subcommittees on which he serves — at least 38 — but on those same days appeared on Fox News. Many of these missed hearings were key discussions of policies, nominations, and appropriations.

In an e-mail, a spokesperson noted that Graham now chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and that Senate hearings often overlap.

"Confirming Trump nominees to the federal bench has been a top priority of Chairman Graham," Graham's communications director Kevin Bishop wrote. "Thus far the Senate Judiciary Committee has confirmed over 200 judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench. It's an achievement which Senator Graham is very proud of and looks forward to continuing to confirm nominees more as fillable vacancies arise."

Bishop did not respond to a follow-up question about the dozens of hearings Graham missed prior to becoming Judiciary chair last January.

The 38 missed hearings included:

  1. June 3, 2009:
    Graham missed the Special Committee on Aging's hearing: "Boon Or Bane? Examining the Value of Long-Term Care Insurance." That evening, he appeared on "Studio B with Shepard Smith" to discuss Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation.
  2. June 3, 2009:
    Graham also missed a hearing that day of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: "Pandemic Flu: Closing the Gaps."
  3. June 3, 2009:
    Graham additionally missed a Judiciary Committee hearing that day: "The Uniting American Families Act: Addressing Inequality in Federal Immigration Law."
  4. June 10, 2009:
    Graham missed a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing: "Allegations of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Security Contracts at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul." He joined "Happening Now" that day to discuss the Sotomayor confirmation.
  5. June 10, 2009:
    Graham also missed a Judiciary hearing that day: "The Continued Importance of the Violence Against Women Act."
  6. June 10, 2009:
    Graham further missed a hearing on the VA's Construction Process in the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
  7. Sept. 15, 2009:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "Human Rights at Home: Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons and Jails." He joined Greta Van Susteren on "On the Record" that evening.
  8. Nov. 5, 2009:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "The First Line of Defense: Reducing Recidivism at the Local Level." The subcommittee chair noted at the beginning that he had "been informed by Sen. Graham's staff that we can get started. Sen. Graham will be joining us, the ranking Republican on the subcommittee." Graham did not join, but did appear on "The Live Desk" that afternoon to discuss prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  9. Feb. 23, 2010:
    Graham missed a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Defense budget and war costs. He appeared on "On the Record" that evening to discuss the Affordable Care Act.
  10. Sept. 14, 2010:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "Rape in the United States: The Chronic Failure to Report and Investigate Rape Cases." He appeared on "Happening Now" that day to discuss the prospects for bipartisan legislation.
  11. Sept. 22, 2010:
    Graham missed a Homeland Security and Government Affairs hearing: "Nine Years After 9/11: Confronting the Terrorist Threat to the Homeland." He appeared on "On the Record" that evening to discuss the DREAM Act.
  12. March 29, 2011:
    Graham missed a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing: "Department of Defense Efficiencies Initiatives." He appeared on "On the Record" that night to discuss Libya.
  13. June 22, 2011:
    Graham missed a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Defense appropriations for Fiscal Year 2012. He appeared on "Happening Now" to discuss Afghanistan.
  14. July 21, 2011:
    Graham missed an Aging hearing: "A Prescription for Savings: Reducing Drug Costs to Medicare." He appeared on "On the Record" that evening to discuss the national debt.
  15. Sept. 7, 2011:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "Cyber Crime: Updating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Protect Cyber Space and Combat Emerging Threats." He joined "On the Record" to discuss Iraq.
  16. Oct. 13, 2011:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing on forced arbitration. He appeared on "Happening Now" to discuss Iran.
  17. Feb. 15, 2012:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "Protecting Those Who Protect US: The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program." He appeared on "America's Newsroom" that morning to discuss Iran.
  18. April 9, 2013:
    Graham missed an Armed Services hearing on the "emerging threats" section of the 2014 Defense authorization. He appeared on "America's Newsroom" to discuss the federal budget.
  19. April 24, 2013:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on the 2014 budget for the Navy and Marine Corps. He appeared on "America's Newsroom" to discuss the Boston Marathon bombing.
  20. July 24, 2013:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing: "Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implications." He appeared on "On the Record" to discuss Egypt.
  21. July 31, 2013:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing on privacy rights and foreign intelligence surveillance programs. He joined "Fox & Friends" that morning to discuss the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
  22. June 4, 2014:
    Graham missed a Budget hearing on student loan debt. He appeared on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" that afternoon to discuss a prisoner swap between the United States and the Taliban.
  23. June 4, 2014:
    Graham also missed a Judiciary confirmation hearing with multiple judicial nominees.
  24. March 2, 2017:
    Graham missed an Armed Services hearing on cyber strategy and policy. That afternoon, he defended then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on "Shepard Smith Reporting."
  25. April 11, 2018:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on Fiscal Year 2019 Defense funding. He appeared on "The Story with Martha MacCallum" that afternoon to discuss former FBI Director James Comey.
  26. April 12, 2018:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on Fiscal Year 2019 funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. He appeared on "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino" to discuss then-Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo.
  27. Nov. 27, 2018:
    Graham missed an Armed Services hearing on the findings and recommendations of the Commission on the National Defense Strategy. He appeared on "Hannity" that evening to discuss a migrant caravan seeking asylum in the United States.
  28. Dec. 11, 2018:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing on oversight of U.S. Customs & Border Protection. He appeared on "The Story" that night to discuss border security.
  29. March 13, 2019:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on Fiscal Year 2020 funding for the Air Force. He appeared on "Hannity" to discuss the origins of the Trump Russia investigation.
  30. March 13, 2019:
    Graham also missed a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. competition with China.
  31. March 27, 2019:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on Fiscal Year 2020 funding for the Army. He appeared on "The Ingraham Angle" that evening to discuss alleged FBI bias against Donald Trump.
  32. March 28, 2019:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the Education Department. He appeared on "Your World" that same day to discuss the Mueller report.
  33. May 1, 2019:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He appeared on "Hannity" to discuss the Mueller investigation.
  34. May 1, 2019:
    Graham also missed an Appropriations hearing on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the Navy and Marine Corps.
  35. Nov. 5, 2019:
    Graham missed a Judiciary hearing on data security. He appeared on "Hannity" to discuss the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.
  36. March 5, 2020:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on Fiscal Year 2021 education funding. He appeared on "Hannity" that day to discuss border security.
  37. March 11, 2020:
    Graham missed an Appropriations hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. He appeared on "Hannity" to discuss the coronavirus that evening.
  38. March 11, 2020:
    Graham also missed an Appropriations hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the Navy and Marine Crops.

Graham is facing a competitive reelection this November against former state Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison.

"People in South Carolina have to get out of bed every day and show up for their job. Lindsey should start doing the same as their U.S. senator," Harrison wrote in an email this week. "Unfortunately for us, he measures his relevance in Washington by how many television appearances he has, not by the problems he's solving."

Harrison campaign spokesperson Guy King added that the missed hearings "[paint] a grim picture of how Lindsey Graham prioritizes his time."

"South Carolina taxpayers expect their representatives to show up and actually do their job," he said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.