Aug 03 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today announced more than $500,000 in grants to fire departments in South Carolina.

“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments and rescue squads by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”

Grants were awarded in the following program areas:

Operations and Safety Program: The funds may be used for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used for the purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.

The grants awarded include:

Columbia
Irmo Fire District will receive a $70,781 Operations and Safety grant.

Donalds
Donalds Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $16,530 Operations and Safety grant.

Florence
Windy Hill Fire Company will receive a $73,806 Operations and Safety grant.

Greenville
Wade Hampton Fire Department will receive a $124,961 Operations and Safety grant.

St. Matthews
Caw Caw Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $204,250 Vehicle Acquisition grant.

Williamston
Piercetown Fire Department will receive a $27,421 Operations and Safety grant.

The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel. 

Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.

The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Aug 02 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Building upon the $3 billion for border security improvements recently adopted in the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today will introduce a bill to further provide resources to help gain operational control over the borders of the United States, enforce and strengthen interior immigration laws, and create additional penalties for immigration violations.

 

 

 

The bill contains some 72 separate provisions, which represent the ideas and insights of numerous Members of Congress, a variety of federal and state agencies affected by illegal immigration, stakeholders, and members of the public.  Some of these provisions represent compromise positions adopted by Senators in the last immigration bill, and others contain tough new enforcement provisions. 

 

 

 

 

“The debate we had a few weeks ago on immigration reform should not deter Congress from doing what is still needed to secure our borders and reduce illegal immigration,” said Kyl.  “We should take what we learned from that debate – that the American people want enforcement – and put it into workable legislation.  That’s exactly what we’ve done here.  On the whole, the legislation distills many of the lessons that we learned discussing immigration reform in the Senate.  Each of the provisions contained in this bill can stand alone on its own merit, or be combined with any other immigration bill.”

 

 

 

 

“Introduction of this bill is consistent with what the American people are asking us to do,” said Sessions.  “The bill requires that the Department of Homeland Security complete construction of the full 700 miles of southern border fencing, improve cooperation with state and local law enforcement, and increase enforcement of immigration laws at the workplace.  These are important steps toward creating a lawful system of immigration.”

 

 

 

 

“The failure of the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration was a huge disappointment,” said McCain.  “Although we must move forward with other issues, we can show the American people that we are serious about securing our nations border. This bill highlights the steps that need to be taken to ensure the integrity of our national security and immigration system, and would provide an essential step toward achieving comprehensive reform in the future.”

 

 

 

 

“Our legislation streamlines deportation proceedings, provides robust border and visa controls, and makes available to local and federal law enforcement more tools to aggressively deal with illegal immigration,” said Graham.  “Our immigration system is structurally flawed.  There remain at least half a dozen major changes in policy our nation must address to get the problems of illegal immigration under control.  This is another step forward in that endeavor.”

 

 

 

 

The bill would authorize significant increases in the number of personnel to patrol the border, staff the ports of entry, prevent smuggling, and investigate immigration violations.  It would also increase the amount of fencing, vehicle barriers, physical infrastructure, and technology to observe and deter illegal crossings, and the amount of detention space to hold unlawful aliens. 

 

 

 

 

The bill would also mandate that DHS detain unlawful aliens crossing the border until those aliens are removed.  It would require that DHS capture biometric data on all foreign nationals legally entering and departing the United States , and identify, track, detain and remove those who overstay their visas. 

 

 

 

 

The bill would authorize significant increases in personnel for DHS and the Department of Justice to enforce the immigration laws in the interior of the United States .  It would add new legal authorities to prevent the entry and enable the removal of suspected terrorists, aggravated felons, gang members, human smugglers, and other criminals.  The bill would add new legal authorities to deter and prosecute crimes against children, to combat smuggling, and to prevent fraud.  It would also enhance the ability of state and local law enforcement officers to identify unlawful aliens, and increase funding to states adversely affected by illegal immigration.

 

 

 

 

The bill would enhance laws to prevent the hiring of unlawful aliens in the United States .  It would require DHS to establish an employment verification system that would make it easier to identify unauthorized workers, in part through enhanced data-sharing between federal and state agencies.  The bill would increase the security and integrity of Social Security cards, and provide funding to assist states in issuing more secure driver’s licenses and identity documents.  The bill would increase civil and criminal penalties against employers who knowingly hire unlawful aliens, and persons who misuse identity documents.

 

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

 

 

·      Requires hiring of 14,000 new Border Patrol Agents to secure the borders.

 

 

·      Mandates construction of 700 miles of fence, 300 miles of vehicle barriers, 105 ground-based radars, and four unmanned aerial vehicles.  Requires 45,000 detention beds.

 

 

·      Contains a “Catch and Return” provision requiring DHS to detain illegal border crossers.

 

 

·      Requires implementing an entry/exit system at all U.S. ports of entry.

 

 

·      Requires mandatory detention of criminal aliens until removal.

 

 

·      Makes illegal presence in the U.S. a misdemeanor offense.

 

 

·      Makes gang members inadmissible and deportable.

 

 

·      Mandates an electronic employment verification system to end hiring of unlawful aliens.

 

 

 

 

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Aug 02 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Medical University of South Carolina will receive more than $7.6 million in medical research grants.

 

 

Awards include:

 

 

 

 

  • $2,208,151 for oral health research.

     

 

 

  • $2,190,000 for lipidomics and pathobiology research.

     

 

 

  • $2,003,401 for general clinical research.

     

 

 

  • $384,797 for heart and vascular disease research.

     

 

 

  • $292,000 for drug abuse and addiction research.

     

 

 

  • $251,120 for cancer biology research

     

 

 

  • $208,050 for kidney disease, urology and hematology research.

     

 

 

  • $73,000 for neurological disorder research.

     

 

 

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

 

 

 

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Aug 02 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted against S. 1, the Senate Democrat’s ethics reform bill.  Graham noted the bill fails to address real ethics reform by bring openness to the earmark process.

“Unfortunately, our efforts to bring sunlight and transparency to earmark process have been greatly diluted,” said Graham.  “This legislation does not require an open and public disclosure of earmarks.  It is weak and a vast departure from our original legislation.”

 

Graham noted the House-Senate conference report contained an unusual procedure where the Majority Leader and committee chairman could certify that earmark disclosure met compliance.  This process is fraught with potential abuse. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Elected officials should be able to designate money for the states and districts,” said Graham.  “But every elected official should have to defend their actions and the merits of the program.  The public deserves to know where the funds are going.  They also deserve to know whether there is any financial self-interest on behalf of the elected official or their family.”

“There is a belief in politics that money is power,” said Graham.  “My belief is that the ultimate power an elected official can have is the trust of the people.  Congress has lost that trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I hoped the ethics reform bill would be an opportunity to restore trust,” said Graham.  “Unfortunately, our efforts to bring about real reform were gutted.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 01 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he hopes the Senate will bring forward and vote on the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick, President Bush’s nominee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Southwick’s nomination has been held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee of which Graham is a member.

 

 

“In recent years, the confirmation process for judges has taken a turn for the worse,” said Graham.  “One thing I would like to have happen, for the good of the country, is make sure that when well-qualified people come before the Senate they are put through their paces.  We should ask about their qualifications, abilities, disposition, character, demeanor, inquire as to how they think, and what drives their thinking. 

 

 

“At the same time, we must understand our job is to confirm people who were nominated by the President.  Elections do matter,” said Graham.  “When we look at a nominee, we should put aside the politics of the last election, of the next election, and focus on the individual.”  

 

 

Graham noted Judge Southwick has been serving as a judge in Mississippi since 1995.  He’s been involved in thousands of decisions in a concurring role and authored hundreds of decisions.  In addition, he volunteered as a Lieutenant Colonel to serve in Iraq at the age of 52.  The American Bar Association unanimously considered him well-qualified and said glowing things about his temperament and disposition.  

 

 

“Judge Southwick has lived a good life in the law and from all indications, is a good person,” said Graham.  “The objections raised by Democrats are not questions of character or intellect.  This debate is about two legal cases.  My question is: Do you take these two cases where he concurred to say there is something wrong with him?   Did he do something out of the mainstream of the law?  Does it show he is not the type of person you would want to sit in judgment of your case or your family?”

 

 

“I think what we are doing to this fine nominee is incredibly unfair,” said Graham.  “There is no real evidence this man harbors animosity against one group or another, quite the contrary.  From everything that I have seen in the record, he is a very decent, scholarly man who has applied the law in an admirable fashion.  I hope Democrats will allow an up-or-down vote and I will continue to push for one.”

 

 

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Aug 01 2007

 
WASHINGTON – As a long-time supporter of the MOX program, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased the Department of Energy has begun construction of the MOX facility at Savannah River Site (SRS). 
 
 
He made this statement:
 
 
“Construction of the MOX facility is the culmination of years of hard work and a tribute to the determination of the local community to again answer the nation’s call. 
 
 
“This is great news for the Site and the nation.  It is another important step forward.  I’m pleased we are continuing to make progress on this national security project.
 
“The MOX program takes surplus weapons grade plutonium and turns it into fuel to power a nuclear reactor.  We will be taking tons of weapons grade plutonium off the market.  This is a case where the United States is literally taking nuclear swords and turning them into plowshares.
 
 
“Both the South Carolina and Georgia congressional delegations, along with Governor Sanford, should be commended for their support of this program.  We will continue pushing forward on the MOX program.  This is an important project to protect our national security for generations to come.”
 
 
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Aug 01 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the University of South Carolina will receive a $2,133,741 grant to conduct colon cancer research, and a $366,500 grant for heart and vascular disease research.

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Jul 30 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Richland County will receive a $1,939,882 grant for airport improvements at Columbia Owens Downtown Airport.

“South Carolina’s airports are a vital part of our state’s transportation infrastructure and play an integral role in our economy,” said Graham.  “These improvements will help recruit future investment and economic development.”

The funds will be used to rehabilitate a runway and to design an apron/taxiway rehabilitation project.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Jul 30 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today announced more than $950,000 in grants to fire departments and rescue squads in South Carolina.

“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments and rescue squads by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”

Grants were awarded in the following program areas:

Operations and Safety Program: The funds may be used for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used for the purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.

The grants awarded include:

Chesterfield
Chesterfield County Rescue Squad Unit 2 will receive a $96,900 Vehicle Acquisition grant.

Hartsville
Hartsville Rescue Squad will receive an $81,000 Vehicle Acquisition grant.

Ladson
Caromi Fire Department will receive a $95,000 Operations and Safety grant.

Lugoff
Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $533,760 Operations and Safety grant.

Newberry
Newberry County Rescue Squad will receive a $98,071 Operations and Safety grant.

Piedmont
Powdersville Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $35,550 Operations and Safety grant.

Williamston 
Williamston Rescue Squad will receive a $15,825 Operations and Safety grant..

The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel. 

Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.

The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Jul 30 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Rock Hill will receive $392,040 in federal funds to assess the feasibility of a downtown trolley circulator.

“This is great news for Rock Hill,” said Graham.  “The City should be commended for looking at new ways to address public transportation and downtown redevelopment.”

Graham secured the funds in the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Bill.

The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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