Jun 18 2009

WASHINGTON, DC --  Wednesday night, the Senate unanimously approved the Lieberman-Graham Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act, legislation that would prevent the release of photos of detainees in US custody.  The release of the photos would endanger American troops; destabilize Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; and serve as a terrorist recruiting tool just like the 2004 photos did, according to Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno.

 

Graham and Lieberman noted that General Odierno, in a recent court filing, addressed the increase in violence after the 2004 release of detainee abuse photos.  The general wrote, “The public dissemination of detainee abuse photos in 2004 likely contributed to a spike in violence in Iraq during the third quarter of 2004 as foreign fighters and domestic insurgents were drawn to Iraq to train and fight. Attacks on C[oalition] F[orces] increased from around 700 in March 2004 to 1800 in May (after the photographs were broadcast and published) and 2800 in August 2004. Attacks on C[oalition] F[orces] did not subside to March 2004 levels until June 2008. These increased attacks resulted in the death of Coalition Forces, Iraqi forces, and civilians."

 

“Passing this bill is essential to protecting our fighting men and women,” said Senators Graham and Lieberman.  “Each one of those photos would be tantamount to a death sentence to those serving our nation in the most dangerous and difficult spots like Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.   The President and overwhelming majorities in the Senate and the House have made it clear that these photos should not be released.  Now it is the House’s turn to take swift action so the President can sign this bill and give our troops and their families the assurance they deserve that these photos will never be released.  We’re hopeful the House will pass the legislation and have it on the President’s desk by July 8, the date of the next court hearing filing.”

 

The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act was unanimously approved by the Senate as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill, but was removed during the conference committee.  At the time, President Obama wrote a letter to Chairman Inouye and Chairman Obey promising to “continue to take every legal and administrative remedy available to me to ensure the DoD detainee photographs are not released.”  The President added, “Should a legislative solution prove necessary, I am committed to working with the Congress to enact legislation that achieves the objectives we share.”

 

Graham and Lieberman have also been personally assured that if Congress fails to act on behalf of our troops, the President will take the appropriate Executive action to ensure the photos will never be released.

 

“The best way to prevent the photos from being released is for the House to pass and the President to sign the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act,” said Graham and Lieberman.  “Our legislation would bring this matter to a decisive conclusion.  There is no reason to litigate this case further or even to rely on an executive order.  Why would Congress not do something that could so easily help our men and women in uniform who are deployed abroad and fighting on our behalf?  For our troops and for our nation, the sooner the better.”

####

Jun 17 2009

White House Assures Graham Detainee Photos will not be Released

Senate to Hold Stand-alone Vote on Lieberman-Graham

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today released his hold on the war funding bill and other Senate items after being provided with personal assurance from the Obama White House that photos depicting detainee abuse will not be released.    

Graham also received assurances from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate will hold a stand-alone vote on legislation Graham introduced with Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-Connecticut) preventing the photos from being released. 

Graham made this statement after the agreement was reached and then announced on the Senate floor. 

“I have been given two important commitments for releasing my hold and allowing the Senate to proceed on other issues.   

“First, I have been personally assured by Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, that if Congress fails to do its part in protecting these photos from being released, President Obama will sign an Executive Order classifying the photos.  He assured me these photos would not see the light of day.    

“Second, we will have a vote on Lieberman-Graham as a free-standing bill before July 8, the date of the next court hearing.  Lieberman-Graham passed the Senate unanimously as an amendment to the war supplemental.  I expect the vote will be similar when we take it up as a free-standing bill.  After it passes the Senate I hope the House will act quickly on it and send it to President Obama’s desk.  There are overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate to pass this legislation into law quickly. 

“The people involved in Abu Ghraib and other detainee abuse allegations have been dealt with.  These photos bring nothing new, but the effect of releasing these photos would be to empower our enemies.  Every photo would become a bullet or IED used by terrorists against our troops. 

“I think we now have a game plan in place that will protect our men and women serving overseas.” 

####

Jun 16 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Inez Tenenbaum’s nomination to serve as Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Graham introduced Tenenbaum at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this morning in Washington. 

“American consumers will be in good hands with Inez Tenenbaum at the helm of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  She has a wealth of executive experience and has been intimately involved in consumer advocacy issues as an attorney.

“The Chairman of CPSC holds the public trust and I could not think of a better person to hold this position.  Inez is someone everyone respects, whether you agree with her or not.  She will look out for American consumers and provide the agency with the leadership it needs.

“It is a big honor for South Carolina to have her nominated for this position.  President Obama has made an outstanding selection in nominating Inez Tenenbaum and I look forward to seeing her confirmed by the Senate.”

####

Jun 09 2009

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vermont) announcement that the hearings for the Supreme Court vacancy will begin on July 13th.  Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“A nomination to the Supreme Court is one of the most important issues to come before the Senate.  I agree with Senator Sessions’ assessment that Chairman Leahy’s unilateral decision to rush these hearings is inappropriate.  Judge Sotomayor has an extremely long record of around 3,600 cases to review.  John Roberts, by comparison, only had 327 cases to review. 

“Additionally, Chairman Leahy’s schedule would provide the Committee with less time to review Judge Sotomayor’s record than it had for the nominations of Justices Roberts, Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, and Clarence Thomas.  This is a rush schedule and I see no compelling reason for us to rush the process.  The Supreme Court does not meet until the first week of October.”

####

Jun 09 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on published reports House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are preparing to strip out the Lieberman-Graham amendment from the war supplemental funding bill.  The amendment bolstered the Obama Administration’s legal position to prevent the release of photos of past detainee abuse. 

 

Graham made these statements at a Capitol Hill press conference with Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-Connecticut).  (A full transcript of the Graham-Lieberman press conference is available on Senator Graham’s blog.  Audio and video should be available later this afternoon.)

The House is ‘Off-Script’ 

"The Senate has jumped on board with President Obama.  The only body that is off-script, in my opinion, is the House.  If they drop this in conference, it will be one of the most outrageous and irresponsible acts in the history of the Congress.  Why do I say that?  Because it would mean that members of Congress will dismiss advice from commanders in the field at a time of war.  And these are not just any commanders.  These commanders have been at war for years.  They know what they're talking about, Generals Petraeus and Odierno.  They told us without any hesitation that if these photos are released our enemies will use it to incite violence against our troops.  If these photos see the light of day, it will be a death sentence to some serving abroad.”

Empowering our Enemies 

“The United States Congress being told by commanders in the field that if you release these photos, you're going to jeopardize the safety of our troops, who are already in harm's way, unnecessarily.  What good is it to pass a supplemental giving our troops new weapons if also in the supplemental you give a weapon to the enemy to use against our own troops?”

The ‘Fringe’ Element Opposes Lieberman-Graham Amendment 

“I cannot believe that we're about to do this, that we're going to dismiss the advice of our commanders who are leading our troops at the time of war to give into a fringe element in American politics.  And make no doubt about it:  This is a fringe element.”  

‘Nothing new’ Added by Releasing Additional Photos: 

“I think the initial approach we took to Abu Ghraib overall has been helpful.  We had to get this out.  We got it out.  People have been court-martialed. People have lost their jobs.  The public had a chance to understand how badly we mismanaged Abu Ghraib, and quite frankly, the war.  But to release additional photographs I think the commander-in-chief is right, it doesn't add anything to the debate.”

‘Life and death’ 

“This is life and death.  And we're not going to let the fringe of American politics get young men and women killed who have done nothing wrong.  They weren't part of these photos.  They weren't part of this abuse.  They're volunteers serving abroad.  They've done nothing wrong, and we're not going to put them in harm's way unnecessarily because of a fringe element in American politics.”

#####

Jun 08 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today issued the following statement on the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations bill:

“We strongly believe that the first responsibilities of government are the nation's security and the protection of those brave Americans who go into harm's way to defend it.

“The President has said that the release of the photos of detainees in US custody would 'put our troops and civilians serving our nation abroad in greater danger.'  We agree with the Commander in Chief.

“We will employ all the legislative means available to us including opposing the supplemental war spending bill and attaching this amendment, which was unanimously adopted by the Senate, to every piece of legislation the Senate considers, to be sure the President has the authority he needs not to release these photos and any others that would jeopardize the safety and security of our troops.

“The release of the photos will serve as propaganda and recruiting tool for terrorists who seek to attack American citizens at home and abroad.  We should strive to have as open a government as possible, but the behavior depicted in the photos has been prohibited and is being investigated.  The photos do not depict anything that is not already known.  Transparency, and in this case needless transparency, should not be paid for with the lives of American citizens, let alone the lives of our men and women in uniform fighting on our behalf in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

“Let it clearly be understood that without this legislation the photos in question are likely to be released.  Such a release would be tantamount to a death sentence to some who are serving our nation in the most dangerous and difficult spots like Iraq and Afghanistan.  It is this certain knowledge of these consequences of having the photos released that will cause us to vote against the supplemental and continue our push to turn our important amendment into law.”

####

Jun 04 2009

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today placed this statement in the Congressional Record on the 20th Anniversary of the brutal crackdown in Tiananmen Square.

"Mr. President, today marks a somber anniversary. Twenty years ago today, months of peaceful protests throughout China culminated with the violent deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese citizens advocating for democratic reforms. It is with sadness that we mark this occasion, but it is also an opportunity to renew our call for political reform in the People's Republic of China.

"One of the first things you see when you walk into my office is a large poster depicting the iconic image of a lone man staring down a line of Chinese tanks. This image has come to symbolize the worldwide struggle for democracy, the rule of law, and the promotion of basic human rights.

"Unfortunately, a generation of students in China can't identify the image or tell you about the events leading up to June 3rd and 4th, 1989. This is because China has failed to acknowledge or account for the actions that led up to this event.

"While the intervening years since the tragedy have seen China grow into a rapidly developing country, economically intertwined with the rest of the world, China's failure to deal with the Tiananmen events prevents the nation from making the political reforms necessary to truly become a respected member of the international community.

"In the years following Tiananmen, leaders of the Communist Party of China including Jiang Zemin, declared, "If we had not taken absolute measures at the time, we would not have the stability we enjoy today. A bad thing has turned out to be good."

"General Chi Haotian, the General in charge of the People's Liberation Army's response to the protest later stated that, "I can tell you in a responsible and serious manner that at that time not a single person lost his life in Tiananmen Square."

"Leaders of the military crackdown such as Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, have never been held accountable for the actions of the People's Liberation Army and there has never been an official acknowledgement of the number of protesters killed or put in prison. Some accounts have claimed that more than 20,000 people were arbitrarily arrested and held without trial. A number of these people remain in prison today.

"Today would have been a landmark occasion for the Chinese government to announce that they were starting an independent and open investigation relating to the events of June 4, 1989. However, other than checkpoints set up in Tiananmen Square and efforts by the Chinese government to prevent international media outlets from filming in the square, there are no signs that today is anything other than an ordinary day in China.

"While the events of twenty years ago by the Chinese government launched a coordinated effort to prevent further unrest, it also helped crystallize a movement that continues today.

"Democracy advocates in China have built upon the legacy of Tiananmen and have led various efforts to force accountability and political reforms. All who watch China applaud the tireless work of Ding Zilin, the leader of Tiananmen Mothers, Liu Xiaobo and the rest of Charter 08, as well as countless others such as Jiang Qisheng who continue to face intimidation and imprisonment, yet persist with their cause.

"They can rest assured that ultimately their efforts will be successful. Today's world is increasingly interconnected. Communication and travel have gotten easier, and with the development of the internet, despite censorship efforts, information is becoming more readily available to the Chinese people.

"Every day it becomes more difficult for the Chinese government to keep its people in the dark. They will find out about Tiananmen, they will find out about how the outside world operates, they will demand changes at home."

#######

Jun 04 2009

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the South Carolina Supreme Court decision forcing the Governor to apply for the stimulus funding.

"While I have great respect for the Court, I am very concerned this decision has caused great damage to separation of powers within our state government. Separation of powers is a concept that has served our state and nation well.

"While I disagreed with the Governor's decision to not apply for the stimulus funds, I believe it was his decision to make under the federal statute.

"With today's ruling it appears our courts have substituted the General Assembly's discretion for that of the Governor. One could easily see it, in a legal sense, as an assault on the highest office in our state. This decision will erode the power of the governor to make discretionary decisions conferred upon him by the federal government.

"If the governor is unable to perform the task set forward in the federal law, I fear that the governorship has, in many ways, been reduced to a ministerial job.

"The office of the Governor is the highest elected position in the state and one in which every eligible voter has the opportunity to have a say on. Long after the $700 million in stimulus funds is exhausted the impact of this ruling will continue to be felt. I fear today's decision will haunt our state for decades to come."

#####

Jun 03 2009

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) met today with Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor in his Washington office.  Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

After the 35-minute meeting, Graham answered questions from the media. 

Video and a transcript of the press availability are provided below.

Senator Graham Media Availability after Meeting with Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor
June 3, 2009

GRAHAM:
Thanks for coming. Good meeting, very nice person. I was as direct as I knew how to be. A lot of the questions about case law and judicial temperament will be covered in more detail when we get more information and I've had time to study. This was sort of a get-to-know-you meeting.

She is a impressive person. She's accomplished a lot in her life. And I was very direct. I said that, I've got to decide how to play this game, quite frankly. And I indicated to the -- to her and the White House, if I used President Obama's standard, Senator Obama's standard, I would never vote for her.

He voted against Alito and Roberts, and he basically said - and you can look it up for yourself -- that some people believe that, once the president wins the election, they should have complete authority to appoint the nominee and the only thing you look for is whether they're intellectually capable and they're a nice guy.

He went on to say that you have to do more. You have to look at the judge's philosophy, ideology, and record. "And when I examined the philosophy, ideology and record of Sam Alito, I'm deeply troubled." Well, when I look at her ideology, record, and philosophy, I'm deeply troubled, if that's my standard.

Talented person, but there's no way, as a conservative Republican, I would have ever picked her to be on the Supreme Court. And I think that's what Senator Obama was trying to basically say. My base doesn't like Alito and Roberts, and I'm thinking about running for higher office, so I'm not going to vote for him, because the people I'm trying to please here don't like the nominee.

He used a standard that would make it impossible, I think, for a person of the opposite party to be able to confirm a nominee of someone of the other party.

There was a different day when we didn't do it that way. Justice Ginsburg, 96-3, the general counsel executive director, I believe, of the ACLU, 96-3. Justice Scalia, pretty conservative, 98-0. What happened to those days? That's not the Senate I've been part of. I would like to go back to that, but I live in a world where it may be very difficult to do that.

If I use the Ginsburg-Scalia standard, she has a chance of getting my vote. If I use the Senator Obama standard, there's no way she will get my vote.

The hurdle that she would have to overcome if I used the Scalia-Ginsburg standard, is this temperament problem overstated, overblown, or is it fundamental to who she is? And is she more than just a liberal judge? Is she an activist advocate wearing a robe and has used the bench as a way to advocate her causes, rather than decide the law?

She said all of the things that I would like to hear. She said the things that Alito and Roberts said, that I'm bound by the law. Well, there are some cases that I'm going to look at as to - to challenge her a bit as to whether or not that withstands scrutiny.

The end of the day, the president has chosen someone who's
accomplished a lot, is very educated, and has a long judicial record. At the end of the day, he's asking me to do something he couldn't do himself, and that is to look at the complete person and understand that elections matter.

Quite frankly, I think, when Senator Obama voted against Alito and Roberts, he lost sight that elections really do matter. And now he's in a different spot. I'm in a different spot. So we'll see what
happens.

Any questions?

QUESTION:
Yes, Senator. Can I just make clear (OFF-MIKE) want to look at her ideology and her record, and I'm troubled, were you saying that on behalf of Lindsey Graham or were you quoting Senator Obama?

GRAHAM:
I'm saying that, if I applied the Obama standard - and let me just be direct -- "I believe that it calls for meaningful advice and consent that includes an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology and record. And when I examined the philosophy, ideology and record of Sam Alito, I'm deeply troubled."

Well, if I apply that standard to her, I am deeply troubled, because she doesn't share my judicial philosophy. She doesn't share my ideology. And her case decisions, the judge I would appoint would probably come out differently. Does that mean she's not qualified to be on the Supreme Court?

Well, there was a day where, no, it didn't mean that, because no Republican could have voted for Justice Ginsburg believing that she shared their philosophy. And there could be no mystery as to where she's going to come out on these cases.

Every now and then, there is a mystery. Souter is one of those cases, probably was a bit of a mystery. But not with her, and not with Scalia. No Democrat could have ever doubted one bit as to where Justice Scalia would come out in the 5 percent of the cases. And how did he vote against Roberts, one of the most qualified people in the history of the United States?

Senator Obama said judicial experience, following the case law, understanding the law, character, temperament, intellect get you 25 miles of a 26-mile marathon. That last mile is how you'll decide that 5 percent of the cases, the cases where Scalia and Ginsburg differ.

And here's what he said: That "last mile can only be determined on the basis of one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspective on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy." Now, if I use that standard, she's not going to get my vote.

QUESTION:
Senator GRAHAM (OFF-MIKE) think about (OFF-MIKE) Newt Gingrich wrote an op-ed today (OFF-MIKE) explicitly saying that he's backing off (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
I think it speaks well of Newt, because my criticism about her comments in the speech that she gave wasn't that I think that this lady is a racist. I don't. And the reason I don't is because all the people who've worked with here throughout her life, all of the people who agree with her and disagree with her, no one's ever said that about her. There is no evidence of that.

But this statement is troubling. And I did tell her this. If I had said that, it would be over for me. No matter how well intentioned I was and no matter how much I tried to put it in context, that would be it. And you all know that, and America knows that.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
I think she was somewhat moved. You need to ask her about this. I'm not going to put words in her mouth. But I do believe that it's not fair to call her a racist based on that statement. I do think she needs to explain herself. I do think she needs to understand she has offended some people. And I'll let her speak as to what the appropriate response is.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
And I'm glad Newt has -- has taken...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, I think any time that you get -- words like that really do hit hard. And she didn't deserve that. I think she deserves to be challenged. I think she needs to prove to me and others, not just me, but anybody out there who's looking for an independent judge that, if they found themselves in litigation with a Latina woman, you fill in the blanks, that she would give you a fair shake.

That's up to her. It is fair to make her address that question and prove it. It is not fair to say that she's a racist.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE) that she would (OFF-MIKE) you're concerned that she might discriminate against somebody who's not a Latino and calling her a racist (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, I think the way you live your life. I mean, she made a statement. She was trying to articulate that all the things I've gone through in life as a Latino woman, of which I'm very proud, I've come a long way, and I've had a hard struggle. I think that makes me a little better than the average, everyday white guy.

Well, being an average, everyday white guy, does it make her better than Roberts or Alito? That's not exactly -- makes me feel good to hear a sitting judge say that. But do I think in her heart that she hates white people? No. I think it was a -- a misspoken statement. I think it was offensive. I think it needs to be corrected.

But I'm looking at who she is, and there's no doubt in my mind she's a good person.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, I'll leave that up to her. It's for her to correct it, not me.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
I'll not put words in her mouth about this whole line of inquiry.

QUESTION:
Did she apologize?

GRAHAM:
You need to ask her.

QUESTION:
Did you ask for an apology?

GRAHAM:
You need to ask her.

QUESTION:
But did you ask for an apology? You said (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
No, I didn't ask for an apology. You need to ask her.

QUESTION:
Senator (OFF-MIKE) conversations are like now between yourself and Republican members of the Judiciary Committee on how to proceed?

GRAHAM:
We haven't had any yet. I think you know what I'm going to do.

I mean, what I've got to decide is, what standard am I going to apply? And I think I've laid out pretty clearly where I'm going.

QUESTION:
Senator, is there any chance you could vote for her at this point?

GRAHAM:
Well, if I adopt the Ginsburg-Scalia standard, yes. But she's still got some mountains to climb.

QUESTION:
What do (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, one, like looking at her cases and having five minutes to think about her record. You know, she's been in this for a win (ph). So have I. This is a big deal.

I mean, the only reason you wouldn't vote for someone appointed by a president that you lost to is that they put someone who was not qualified, just doesn't have the intellectual capacity. I don't believe that about her at all. I think she does have the intellectual capacity to do the job.

But there's a character problem. There's a temperament problem that they -- during the time they've had to be a judge, that they were more of an advocate than an impartial decider of the law. And I've got to find out, in my own mind, am I comfortable saying that she -- her temperament problem is not a basic, it's not who she is, that these evaluations by the people that were in front of her court represent a small slice of the pie?

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE) how much stock do you put in those evaluations? Do you think that...

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM:
Well, I mean...

QUESTION:
... ratings are credible?

GRAHAM:
Yes, generally speaking. I mean, it's (ph) six or eight people. But the fact that they all said the same thing, there are other judges on that court, too. And no one seemed to come out from a lawyer's perspective.

I just don't like bully judges. I don't mind being challenged. And if I screw up in court, the judge can hammer me, nobody to blame but me. But there are some judges that have an edge, that do not wear the robe well. I don't like that.

From what I can tell, her temperament and demeanor, she seems to be a very nice person. Scalia is no shrinking violet. He's tough. There's a difference between tough and a bully. And I don't know what those evaluations mean and her entire context (ph) of her entire legal career. And that's part of the process here.

What do other people say who've been on the other side of her as an advocate? What do the people say that work in the office with her? What do the other judges say who served on the bench?

QUESTION:
Senator, if you vote no (OFF-MIKE) essentially (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
I'm not doing the country any good of looking back and trying to play a game for tit for tat, but I am not going to put my party at a disadvantage. If this is the way the game's going to be played, if this is the way we're going to do it, then this is going to be the way you go forward, then I'll have to -- I'll have to consider that.

I mean, this is a -- you know, he's basically asking me to do something he didn't do himself. The vice president didn't vote, I think, for either one of these people. And I'm just really astonished that we've come from Scalia and Ginsburg getting 96 and 98 votes to Alito and Roberts would -- would lose a lot of votes.

In Alito's case, he only got 58, and he actually got filibustered for a while. And we haven't even started talking about Miguel Estrada.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE) hearing from other people, do you hope at her confirmation hearing there are people who QUESTIONed her temperament (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, yes, I would -- we know what the almanac says, but I'd like to hear the other side, too. I mean, just meeting her, I mean, obviously, she's going to be nice to me. I mean, she's not going to come in here and give me a hard time.

But you could -- you know, from what I can tell, from the people that I know that know her, that she seems to be a very, very decent person. But I just wonder why all the lawyers said the same thing.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, the one thing I can tell you, this is going to be a big deal. This is more about than just her confirmation. We've got some big issues to resolve here.

This comment she made, this speech she gave, that needs to -- that needs to come to a conclusion in a way that makes us a better country, that maybe this is sort of what Eric Holder was talking about, that we need to -- just need to put these things on the table.

It's not fair to say that that one speech would end her hopes and dreams of being on the Supreme Court. But is it true that it would end in someone else's? I think so. And she's got an opportunity here now to explain that. And maybe actually we can come out of this thing stronger as a nation.

QUESTION:
So does that mean the hearings need to happen in July?

GRAHAM:
That means that I think the hearings ought to happen in September, and she ought to be voted upon, if everybody feels that there's no extraordinary circumstance here justifying a filibuster, and I can't find one right now.

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Huh?

QUESTION:
(OFF-MIKE) September (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM:
Well, all I can tell you is that there's a lot to look at. There's 3,000, almost 4,000 cases. You get one shot at this. Justice Roberts was voted on September the 29th. And if you used Alito-Roberts timetable, that puts us at September.

I have no desire to make this hard for the sake of making it hard. I have no desire to make it quick for the sake of making it quick. And she deserves to be challenged firmly and fairly so, and she also needs people like me to acknowledge that she's come a long way and got a lot to be proud of.

Thank you all.

 

Jun 01 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on General Motors filing for bankruptcy.

“It is a sad day for America to see General Motors have to resort to bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, their current business model was doomed to failure in the global economy.

“I believe the government bailouts of General Motors should have stopped a long time ago.  It is unfair to other car companies who manufacture in the United States to have to compete against auto companies owned by the federal government.  The Obama Administration has made a serious mistake with its massive intervention into our economy as a whole and particularly with the domestic auto industry.

“Let’s be clear, much of the government’s actions leading up to the bankruptcy proceedings have been driven by union politics.  The Obama Administration has put the interests of the unions first, even ahead of the American taxpayer.  I strongly disagree with their decisions on this matter.  I also recognize the unfortunate burden this places on the many family-owned car dealers and auto parts suppliers who will be forced to close their doors through no fault of their own.

“I have no desire for the government to own and operate a car company.  I will work to put Members of Congress on record as to whether or not they support the Obama Administration’s intervention in the domestic car manufacturing industry.” 

#####