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United States Senator Lindsey Graham, South CarolinaUnited States Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
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290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5972
Issue Statements

Upholding the Constitution

Graham Opposes Obama Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

"Mr. President, what are you thinking?"

06/25/2013 3:27:00 PM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on President Obama's decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Graham Supports Border Surge

When people in South Carolina say 'Secure the Border' I get it.

06/21/2013 2:09:00 PM

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) yesterday came out in support of the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment to the Senate immigration bill. A vote on the amendment is scheduled for Monday evening.

"When people in South Carolina say ‘Secure the Border,' I get it," said Graham. "The Corker-Hoeven amendment is a border surge and designed to help us regain over sovereignty. It is a robust border security measure which calls for the hiring, training and deployment of an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents on the southern border."

Graham, Begich, Flake and Pryor Introduce Legislation On Mental Illness and Gun Violence

posted by Tate, Deputy Communications Director

03/06/2013 4:42:00 PM

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) today introduced legislation, The NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013, to clarify circumstances under which a person loses the right to receive or possess firearms based on mental illness.


The Senators noted that under current law certain mental incompetency adjudications are not required to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which is the clearinghouse for all new gun purchases.


They also noted the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 applies to individuals whose cases are determined by an adjuctive body, such as a federal court, to be: 
  • an imminent danger to themselves or others;
  • found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case;
  • was not guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect;
  • was incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case;
  • was not guilty only by reason of lack of mental responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
  • required involuntary inpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital;
  • required involuntary outpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital based on a finding that the person is an imminent danger to himself or to others; and
  • required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital for any reason including drug use.


“The Alice Boland case is ‘Exhibit A’ of a broken background check system,” said Graham.  “An individual who pleads ‘Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity’ should not be able to pass a federal background check and legally purchase a gun.  As astonishing as it sounds, that actually happened.  Our bill addresses the Boland case, and other similar instances, to ensure that those who have been declared an imminent danger to themselves or others aren’t legally able to obtain a firearm.  I would expect overwhelming bipartisan support for our legislation.”


"I’m pleased that we have been able to bring together unlikely allies from outside the building and produce a common-sense, bipartisan bill that will help keep our communities safe while protecting our Second Amendment rights,” Begich said. “I have worked side by side with both the NRA and the mental health community to ensure that this bill will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people without stigmatizing the mentally ill or taking away individual rights. I hope today’s announcement serves as a reminder that if we roll up our sleeves and work together, we can still get things done around here.”


“We must strengthen the reporting process of mental health records so that those who should not have access to guns are barred from purchasing them,” said Flake.  “Ensuring that more of these records are integrated into NICS will significantly improve the background check process.”


“I’m a strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights. That said, it’s evident that our background check system needs some improvements,” Pryor said. “Our bipartisan, common-sense bill will update the system, and ensure individuals who have been deemed “mentally incompetent” are not able to pass a background check and purchase firearms.”


The Senators also noted the legislation contains provisions to ensure Second Amendment rights are returned to individuals after they have recovered from their mental illness.  The legislation also does not apply to persons in a mental institution for observation or those who voluntarily admit themselves to a psychiatric hospital.



Another Discouraging Jobs Report

By Senator Lindsey Graham

09/07/2012 11:22:00 AM

The August jobs report revealed today that the national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent because another 368,000 Americans decided to stop looking for work.  The labor participation rate fell to 65.3 percent, its lowest level in more than 30 years.


A drop in the unemployment rate is usually good news, but certainly not today.  This report shows thousands of Americans are so discouraged by the Obama economy that they have given up on their job searches and are no longer looking for work.


Under President Obama’s economic policies the American Dream is in jeopardy.  It’s clear the failed stimulus plan, Obamacare’s government takeover of healthcare, and massive increases in the national debt continue to take a toll on our economy. It will take a change in leadership to put us back on the path to a growing, vibrant economy

Charleston Deepening Project to Receive $2.5 Million to Continue Study

By Senator Lindsey Graham

02/08/2012 2:04:00 PM

I am pleased the work plan today released by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers set aside $2.5 million to continue the on-going study to deepen Charleston Harbor.  The federal share is matched by an equal contribution from the South Carolina State Ports Authority.


This is the most significant federal contribution made thus far to the Charleston Harbor deepening effort.  It is a significant victory given the fact President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2012 had nothing allocated for Charleston.


As a result of language we were able to include in last year’s spending bill, Charleston was eligible to receive funding to continue its deepening study.  These funds are being awarded under a more merit-based system. We have always known that Charleston will fare well under that standard as harbor deepening is a worthwhile investment.


Today, about one out of every five jobs in South Carolina is tied – directly and indirectly – to the operation of the Port.  Deepening the port will allow us to keep these jobs in our state and also create more jobs in the future.


President Obama will release his Fiscal Year 2013 budget next week and I am hopeful funds to deepen Charleston Harbor will be included.  I continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and South Carolina State Ports Authority to explore avenues to help expedite the harbor deepening project from its estimated 2024 completion date.


Deepening Charleston Harbor is the number-one issue for South Carolina’s economy.  The Port of Charleston is our economic gateway to the world.  We have to ensure the harbor deepening process moves forward in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  This is good news we’ll celebrate today, but we know the President’s budget release early next week is yet another important step in the process.

On President Obama's Recess Appointments to the NLRB

By Senator Lindsey Graham

01/04/2012 5:06:00 PM

Mr. President, hasn’t the NLRB already done enough damage?  Today’s action may impress the union bosses but will deliver yet another blow to job creation.


The NLRB has become an out-of-control rogue bureaucracy.  President Obama, by empowering this agency rather than reforming it, is making job creation even more difficult.  I will continue to do everything in my power to put the brakes on the NLRB as currently constructed.


I again encourage the appropriate House and Senate committees to investigate the contacts between the NLRB and Machinists Union in their complaint against The Boeing Company.  We have already seen NLRB communications, made available by a Freedom of Information Act, which shows the NLRB had a callous and negative attitude against Boeing’s decision to open a South Carolina facility.


A congressional investigation to answer questions about the NLRB’s role, attitude, and relationship with the parties is definitely warranted.  I’m glad the ridiculous complaint against Boeing has gone away, but there are disturbing questions about possible collaboration between the Machinists union and the NLRB against Boeing.  These questions must be answered.

Graham Calls for Investigation Into NLRB-Union Collaboration

Posted by Tate, Press Assistant

12/09/2011 2:48:00 PM

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is calling for a congressional investigation into collaboration between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union against The Boeing Company’s decision to build a second 787 Dreamliner production facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.


Graham’s announcement comes after the NLRB announced it will drop its complaint against Boeing.


Graham also reaffirmed today he will continue to place an indefinite Senate hold on nominations to the NLRB Board.  Beginning in January 2012, the NLRB will have just two members.  The Supreme Court last year ruled that an agency board with just two members lacks the authority to issue case rulings.


NLRB Dropping Case against Boeing:

“For the sake of the Boeing South Carolina workers, I’m pleased to hear the frivolous complaint that has put a cloud over their operations has been lifted.  However, it’s hard to celebrate an event which never should have happened.”


Congressional Probe into Possible NLRB-Union Collaboration against Boeing:

“I have real concerns the NLRB complaint was used as a negotiating tool against Boeing.  It would be completely unacceptable for the NLRB, which is supposed to be an independent arbiter, to be used and help in the union’s bidding.


“If this turns out to be the case, the NLRB would have abandoned its role as an agency that arbitrates disputes and become an advocacy group for union causes.  And few things would do more damage to job creation than having a government agency abuse its power and unfairly alter sound decisions made by business.


“I find the whole episode between the Machinists union and the NLRB against Boeing highly suspicious.  We have already seen NLRB communications, made available by a Freedom of Information Act, which shows the NLRB had a callous and negative attitude against Boeing’s decision to open a South Carolina facility.


“A congressional investigation to answer questions about the NLRB’s role, attitude, and relationship with the parties is definitely warranted.  I would urge the appropriate Senate committees to look closely into this matter.  If the Senate refuses to act, I would strongly encourage the House of Representatives to move forward.


“I’m glad the ridiculous complaint against Boeing has gone away, but there are disturbing questions about possible collaboration between the Machinists union and the NLRB against Boeing.  These questions must be answered.”


Indefinite Hold Against Obama Nominees to the NLRB:

“I will continue to block all nominations to the NLRB until we get satisfactory answers regarding their role in this entire saga.  Given its recent actions, the NLRB as inoperable could be considered progress.”



I Oppose President Obama's American Jobs Act

by Senator Lindsey Graham

10/12/2011 10:57:00 AM

Last night I voted against President Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act.  The measure needed 60 votes to advance and failed in the Senate 50-49. 


President Obama’s jobs proposal was nothing more than an expansion and continuation of the policies which have made our economy worse than when he took office. Rather than changing course when it is clear his policies are not working, President Obama seems to be doubling-down.  It’s why there is bipartisan opposition to his plan. Should it ever become law, President Obama’s jobs bill will prove to be as ineffective in creating jobs as Obama health care was in lowering premiums.

On Senate Passing Legislation Pressing China to End Currency Manipulation

by Senator Lindsey Graham

10/11/2011 6:37:00 PM

I am very pleased that the U.S. Senate, in a strong bipartisan vote of 63-35, tonight passed legislation I introduced with Senators Jeff Sessions, Chuck Schumer, and Sherrod Brown giving the United States new tools to deal with Chinese currency manipulation.  The Chinese yuan is generally viewed by economists as being undervalued by up to 40 percent.


Passage of the legislation comes on the heels of the Obama Administration last week expressing concerns about the bill even though he strongly supported similar legislation while campaigning for President.


I hope President Obama will be as hard on the Chinese, who are cheating Americans out of jobs, as he is on American business.  It is universally accepted that the Chinese intentionally manipulate their currency to create an advantage for themselves in the marketplace. Manufacturing jobs in South Carolina and across the country are being destroyed because the Chinese continue to defy the rules of international trade.


Under current law, the Treasury Department is required to identify countries that manipulate their currency for purposes of gaining an unfair competitive trade advantage.  In recent years, Treasury has found that certain countries’ currencies were ‘undervalued,’ but based on a narrow interpretation of the law Treasury has refused to cite such countries as ‘manipulators.’ The Senate-passed legislation replaces that with a new framework which will require Treasury to identify misaligned currencies and imposes trade remedies if countries fail to correct the misalignment.


Over the past week, China took a rather unusual step in sending several strongly-worded messages to the United States warning of Chinese opposition to the legislation.


This vote showed we will not be bullied by China when it is clear they are in the wrong.  We ignored the threats and do not apologize for taking this action.  I want a good trading relationship with China and think we can have a relationship which is beneficial to both countries. But the current Chinese policy on currency is clearly unfair and designed to benefit them at our expense.


Tonight’s vote was one of my most satisfying moments in Congress.  Finally, after seven years of effort, the Senate is now on record in taking steps to address Chinese currency manipulation.  This is welcome news to manufacturers in South Carolina and across the nation.  Now I strongly encourage the House of Representatives to take up the legislation at the soonest possible opportunity.

On President's Plan to Raise Taxes

by Senator Lindsey Graham

09/19/2011 2:19:00 PM

The President’s $1.5 trillion dollar tax increase on investors, job creators, and American business is poorly-timed, ill-conceived, and dead on arrival.

Our economy desperately needs to grow so more Americans can get back to work. Tax increases on job creators, like President Obama is proposing, will be a death blow to any recovery.

Our tax code needs to be reformed. I support tax code simplification which combines lower rates with the elimination of deductions and loopholes.

However, increasing tax burdens on job creators is the last thing we ought to do in a weak economy. The President’s 1.5 trillion tax increase will certainly make it more difficult to grow the economy and create jobs.

On House Passage of Protecting American Jobs Act

by Senator Lindsey Graham

09/19/2011 10:27:00 AM

Unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB should not be able to shut the doors on the $1 billion Boeing plant in North Charleston.  Congratulations to Congressman Tim Scott and the South Carolina congressional delegation for their hard work passing this legislation through the House. I have introduced it in the Senate and will continue to press Harry Reid to bring it up for a vote.

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