Now, as the Republican Party coalition grows ever ever older, whiter, and male, Graham has abandoned his fierce independence. At his moment of peak influence, in his first term as chairman of a full committee, Graham has decided to table his namesake bill.

In the nomination hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Graham delivereda tirade at Judiciary Committee Democrats rather than using his time to question Brett Kavanaugh..

Some suspected that Graham was using his moment to angle for a Cabinet appointment – either secretary of defense or attorney general. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation, both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis have left the Trump administration. Sessions’s replacement, Bill Barr, is expected to be confirmed within a week, while Patrick Shanahan is in charge of the Defense Department as acting secretary pending the nomination of a permanent replacement.