Jul 14 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on President Bush’s decision to lift the executive ban on offshore drilling.

 

He said:

 

“I applaud the President’s decision to lift the moratorium on offshore exploration.  There is no doubt we need more domestic exploration.  Every barrel of oil we can find in America will be one less we have to compete with China and India for or be subject to OPEC price setting.  The more domestic energy we can locate and utilize, the better.”

 

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Jul 14 2008

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Representative Henry Brown (R-Hanahan) today expressed their support for the decision by Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs James Peake to make amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease,” a service connected disability.

 

Graham and Brown have been working with Secretary Peake to make this designation, and Peake informed the lawmakers of his decision on a conference call this morning.

 

“I applaud Secretary Peake’s decision to make ALS a service connected disability,” said Graham.  “This devastating disease occurs in the military at more than twice the rate of the general population.  The Secretary’s decision to find a service connection is justified and the right thing to do.  This decision will provide much comfort to the military members suffering from this debilitating disease.  I want to thank Henry Brown for his leadership on this issue, and General Mikolajcik for his service to our country and heroic stand on behalf of his fellow veterans.”

 

“Today’s decision by Secretary Peake is the culmination of a concerted effort to have veterans with ALS receive benefits they deserve from the VA,” said Brown.  “A growing number of veterans, especially those who served during the first Gulf War, have been diagnosed with ALS, and there is a clear connection between ALS and military service.  Veterans with ALS, such as Charleston ’s Retired Brigadier General Thomas Mikolajcik, have shown the same determination in their fight for this change as they show in their fight against ALS.  I was proud to stand beside them and Senator Graham in getting them the benefits that the evidence shows they deserve.”

 

In addition to working to move the VA towards making today’s change, Congressman Brown introduced legislation (H.R. 5454) that would establish a presumption of service connection for all veterans with ALS.  The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing on Brown’s legislation just a month ago, and it was expected to move to the House floor before the end of the year.

 

According to Secretary Peake, the change should go into effect August 1.

 

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Jul 12 2008

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passing of Tony Snow.

 

“Tony Snow was one of the most decent and loyal people I’ve ever known in political life.  Tony was loyal to his maker, family, friends, ideals, and profession.  He was one of the smartest and most articulate voices for the conservative cause in the nation.  Tony was a true friend, and will be missed.”

 

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Jul 10 2008

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement following Senate confirmation of General David Petraeus as Commanding General of U.S. Central Command by a vote of 95-2, and General Raymond Odierno as Commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq by a vote of 96-1.

Graham said:

“I congratulate President Bush for nominating these fine officers for two of the most important jobs in the military.  Generals Petraeus and Odierno are the right people at the right time to lead operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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Jul 09 2008

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passage of H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.  The bill amends FISA and allows the United States to continue to monitor overseas phone calls of suspected terrorists while protecting the rights of American citizens.  Senator Graham voted for the bill which passed the Senate 69-28.

“Senator Obama is at it again on FISA.  He’s trying to have it both ways—saying he supports a bipartisan bill while trying to kill it.  Senator Obama voted to strip out the heart and soul of this bipartisan deal, legal immunity for telecommunications companies who cooperated with the federal government to monitor the overseas phone calls of suspected terrorists.  Senator Obama continues to demonstrate that in his world bipartisanship means that the other side gives and he takes.

“If the Dodd amendment to strip legal immunity had passed, an idea supported only by the far left, there would have been no deal.  Without this bipartisan agreement our terrorist surveillance program would cease to be effective, exposing out country to many dangers.

“I am pleased that 66 Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, voted to reject the Dodd amendment that would have unraveled the bipartisan agreement.  I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Senator Obama could not muster the courage to do likewise.

“Despite efforts to kill this agreement, the Senate has risen above political gamesmanship to make our country safer.  This bill will provide American law enforcement and intelligence agencies with the tools they need to monitor terrorist suspects overseas and win the global war on terror.”

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Jul 09 2008

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement.

 

“I have and will continue to support finding a permanent solution to the physician reimbursement formula.  However, I truly believe the bill passed by the Senate today does great harm to Medicare Advantage, a program enjoyed by thousands of South Carolina seniors that allows them more choice in their health care.

 

“I will continue to try to solve this problem in a bipartisan manner that is in the best interests of doctors, seniors, and taxpayers.  I do not believe we should have to choose between helping doctors and destroying competition in Medicare.”

 

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Jun 26 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today applauded the Supreme Court decision protecting the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

 

Graham had signed on to an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of the District of Columbia v. Heller.  The brief was signed by Vice President Dick Cheney, 55 U.S. Senators, and 250 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Graham said:

 

“The Supreme Court decision reinforced what many of us have always believed – the District of Columbia law went too far in restricting the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.  The case involved nothing more than the right of law abiding persons to keep common handguns and usable firearms for lawful self-defense in the home.

 

“This is a historic ruling and I’m very pleased by the Supreme Court’s decision in support of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”

 

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Jun 25 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today responded to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that declares capital punishment to be unconstitutional for child rapists.

 

“Unfortunately, it appears this session of the Supreme Court has been a winner for child rapists and terrorists,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  “The Court’s statement there is a national consensus against the death penalty for cases that do not result in death is a complete misreading of the American people and their views on child rape.

 

“We live in a world where predators habitually prey on children and engage in vicious, sadistic behavior,” said Graham.  “Some states, like South Carolina , have moved forward to protect children.  I’m very disappointed the Supreme Court decided to strike down the good-faith efforts to protect our nation’s children from child rapists.

 

“Justice Alito made a passionate case against the majority ruling and its ‘sweeping conclusions.’  I completely agree with his assessment.  He wrote the majority’s decision put the death penalty off limits -- 

 

“…..no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted and no matter how heinous the perpetrators’ criminal record may be. … The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave.  It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty.  The court provides no cogent explanation why this legislative judgment should be overridden.”

 

“One of the major issues facing our nation is the future makeup of the Supreme Court,” concluded Graham.  “Will we continue to allow unelected judges to overrule legislation based on constitutional interpretations that are really nothing more than social engineering?  If we do, we can expect more rulings like today."

 

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Jun 23 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the impending release from prison of Pastor Phillip Miles of Conway, South Carolina .

 

“I’m very pleased for Pastor Miles, his family and friends.  Pastor Miles is a man of great faith and his friends and family have gone through a lot during this ordeal.  I know they look forward to welcoming him home.

 

“Pastor Miles was initially given a disproportionate sentence for his actions.  We worked within the Russian legal system and kept politics at bay.  I think it was a good strategy and today is a good outcome.  I want to extend my deep appreciation for the hard work done by his legal team, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, U.S. State Department, and those who kept Pastor Miles in their thoughts and prayers.

 

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Jun 19 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the transferability provision being included in the Iraq supplemental funding bill.  Transferability was one of the major differences between the Webb GI Bill and the competing proposal offered by Graham along with Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).

 

The transferability provision allows service members to transfer their education benefits to their spouse or children.  It will bolster recruitment and retention in addition to encouraging service members to continue their military careers.

 

Graham said:

 

“I am very pleased our transferability provision was included in the Iraq supplemental.  There is no doubt this is a long overdue and much needed change in policy.  While the transferability provision is worthwhile I have real reservations about the process used to pass the GI benefit legislation into law.  The provision did not go through committee markup and we were offered little chance on the Senate floor to make improvements.  Congress shouldn’t be doing the people’s business in this fashion.

 

“One of the major concerns that Senators McCain, Burr and I had with the Webb bill was that it did not include transferability.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Webb bill would have hurt reenlistment by 16 percent.  It never made sense to us that we would penalize service members who decided to make the military their career.

 

“It's in our own national interest to retain the best, brightest, and most experienced in our Armed Forces.  The transferability provision provides greatly improved incentives for service members who wish to stay in the military.

 

“Under transferability, service members can transfer their benefits to their spouse and children.  This option recognizes the sacrifices made by both the military family as well as the service member, and this provision has been well-received by the military community.  A service member who chooses to make the military their career will be able to use this benefit to pay for their children’s college education.

 

“Transferability is sound policy and it makes sense to reward military members and their families who choose to reenlist.  Transferability will dramatically enhance our ability to recruit and retain the all volunteer force necessary to win the War on Terror.

 

“I’m very glad to see that our position won the day and transferability was included in the supplemental.”

 

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