In the United States Senate, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham has earned a reputation as a conservative leader willing to tackle the toughest issues facing our nation.
Graham is widely viewed as one of the strongest proponents of a robust national defense and considered a loyal friend to our men and women serving in uniform. A frequent visitor to the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq for on-the-ground assessments, Graham has consistently pushed for outcomes in the War on Terror which defend our own long-term national security interests.
Closer to home, Graham has been a leader in balancing the federal budget and reforming entitlements to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. For his work, a prominent national conservative organization labeled him a 'Taxpayer Hero' who puts, “the interests of the taxpayer ahead of politics by consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers.”
Graham was elected to the Senate in 2002 and reelected in 2008, garnering over one million votes and becoming the top vote-getter in South Carolina history.
In the Senate, he serves on the chamber’s most important committees: Appropriations, which oversees the expenditure of every dollar from the Federal Treasury; Armed Services, which is responsible for all areas of our national defense; Budget, which establishes the blueprint for total government revenues and spending, and Judiciary, which has a broad mandate covering multiple issues ranging from the Constitution to criminal justice to intellectual property law.
Graham was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as the first Republican from the Third Congressional District of South Carolina since 1877. Prior to his service in the House, Graham compiled a distinguished record in the United States Air Force as he logged six-and-a-half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984-1988, he was assigned overseas and served at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany.
Upon leaving active duty Air Force in 1989, Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard where he served until 1995. During the first Gulf War in the early 90’s, Graham was called to active duty and served state-side at McEntire Air National Guard Base as Staff Judge Advocate where he prepared members for deployment to the Gulf region.
Graham continues to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is one of only two U.S. Senators currently serving in the Guard or Reserves. He is a colonel and is assigned as a Senior Instructor at the Air Force JAG School.
A native South Carolinian, Graham grew up in Central, graduated from D.W. Daniel High School near Clemson, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina. He lives in Seneca and is a member of Corinth Baptist Church.