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Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and ranking member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) bump elbows prior to a hearing in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 2021.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and ranking member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) bump elbows prior to a hearing in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 2021. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham to Kick Off New Debate Series

Sanders, an independent democratic socialist, and Graham, a far-right Trump ally, are set to square off in a televised debate on June 13.

Kenny Stancil

Left-wing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and far-right Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are set to kick off a new televised debate series called "The Senate Project" next month.

Sanders, an independent democratic socialist, and Graham, a Republican ally of former President Donald Trump, are scheduled to square off at 12:00 pm ET on June 13 in an Oxford-style debate moderated by Fox News anchor Bret Baier, the Bipartisan Policy Center—which is co-sponsoring the event alongside the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute—announced Wednesday.

"The genesis was a number of organizations were having these conversations kind of separately and amongst ourselves," Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) president Jason Grumet told The Hill, referring to discussions among the three sponsors about how to rekindle productive debate in Washington, which has diminished as use of the 60-vote filibuster has skyrocketed.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) "was the catalyst," said Grumet. "He is on the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. He is also one of the founders of BPC. We've all been lamenting the loss of the constructive collision of ideas that has long been the basis of effective democracy."

The one-hour event featuring Sanders and Graham, the first of three debates between different pairs of leading senators, will take place in Boston at the Kennedy Institute, which includes a full-size replica of the U.S. Senate that is typically used by visiting students to simulate part of the legislative process. Topics will be unveiled one week before the event, which is to be streamed by Fox Nation.

BPC will host a second debate between a Democratic and a Republican senator in July at the George Washington University, with live coverage provided by C-SPAN.

A third debate will be held by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation this fall in Utah.


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