May 17 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on comprehensive immigration reform plan.

General Thoughts:

"Over the last few months, I have spoken with President Bush almost every week and met with him twice about immigration reform. Secretary Chertoff and Secretary Gutierrez have been there every step of the way. There would be no bill without their hard work.

"Today we charted a new path for our nation's immigration policies.

"We break the cycle of chain migration by placing a premium on the education and job skills of new immigrants coming to the United States. This new merit-based system is a major change in our nation's immigration policies and allows us to attract the best and brightest in the world.

"We reclaim control of our nation's borders by adding new Border Patrol agents and technology to stop illegal border crossings.

"We establish a new comprehensive employee verification system - for all workers including Americans -- to ensure people are in the country legally and eligible to work.

"We establish a temporary guest worker system to meet our nation's future labor needs. Temporary workers can come here and work for a defined period of time, but they must return to their home country.

"And we establish procedures to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay under our rules - not theirs. They will be placed on probation and pay fines, learn English, and assimilate into American society. If they want to become citizens -- a minimum 13 year process -- they will be forced to leave the United States and return to their country of origin. Only from there will they be allowed to apply for citizenship.

Is the Legislation Amnesty?

"Amnesty is a pardon and means all is forgiven. This legislation is not amnesty. President Bush made clear today he does not view it as amnesty and I agree with him.

"I hope all Senators, particularly those who were not part of the negotiations, will become more informed about the details of the bill before making incorrect statements.

"Here are the facts. Illegal aliens will have the opportunity to come forward and be fined, punished and placed on years of probation. Illegal aliens will not be allowed to jump in line for citizenship ahead of those currently waiting. If they want to become citizens they must pay fines, learn English, pass a civics exam, undergo background checks and leave the United States and return to their country of origin. The punishment is fair and just.

"The public expects Members of Congress to speak their minds, but be informed in their opinions. I would ask for everyone to take time to understand how the bill works."

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May 16 2007

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate has authorized more than $40 million in public works projects in South Carolina.  Graham secured the approval in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007.  The legislation was approved by the Senate 91-4.

“South Carolina’s natural beauty is one of our greatest resources,” said Graham.  “These infrastructure projects will help protect and maintain the environment, while improving our quality of life.  I am proud to help assist in these projects and know how they can benefit the local communities.  I appreciate the leadership of my colleagues Congressmen Henry Brown and Gresham Barrett in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to continuing to work with them on these projects.”

South Carolina projects in the bill include:

Abbeville County/Lake Russell

  • The legislation instructs the federal government to sell approximately 600 acres of land around Lake Russell to the state of South Carolina.  The land will be combined with other state held lands and developed to include hotel, conference center, marina and housing.  The development will create jobs and spur growth in an economically-depressed area.

Charleston County

  • $6 million for the Charleston Water System to replace approximately eight miles of deep sewer tunnel in peninsular Charleston and West Ashley. 
  • $3 million for the City of Charleston for stormwater control measures and storm sewer improvements at the Spring Street/Fishburne Street Drainage Basin.

Georgetown County

  • $16.44 million to Pawleys Island for a shore protection project that reduces hurricane and storm damage.  $5.48 million will be used for initial costs and $10.6 million will be used for periodic renourishment over the fifty-year life of the project.

Horry County

  • $10 million for the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation to implement a regional stormwater management system.  The project will create an underground collection system that will retain, clean, and then discharge stormwater via underground offshore outfalls.
  • $3 million for North Myrtle Beach to implement stormwater management and water quality measures installing ocean outfall pipes.
  • $3 million for Surfside to implement stormwater management and water quality measures by installing ocean outfall pipes.

Jasper County

  • The legislation instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of establishing a port and container facility in Jasper County.

The legislation must now be approved by a joint House-Senate conference committee before it can be signed into law by President Bush.  Graham will also continue to encourage the Senate to appropriate federal funding to these projects.

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May 15 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint joined South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide a Secretarial disaster declaration to cover agriculture losses suffered in the early April freeze. 

A Secretarial disaster declaration would allow eligible producers to qualify for low-interest emergency loans and other disaster assistance to help recover from these losses.

“It is imperative that we afford relief to our farming community as they suffer the effects of devastating freezing temperatures in early April,” the Senators said in the letter to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns.

The freezing temperatures April 7 through April 10 severely damaged or destroyed the majority of the state’s fruit, row and nursery crops in the middle of the 2007 spring planting season.  Farm Service Agency Damage Assessment Reports indicate that the freezing temperatures destroyed over 90 percent of the peach crop.

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May 09 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) led U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives in accepting a petition – the Appeal for Courage -- signed by more than 2,800 U.S. service members urging Congress to support the mission in Iraq and end calls for retreat.  A full 60 percent of the petition signers have previously served or are now serving in Iraq.

“The men and women who are doing the fighting and dying -- the ultimate stakeholders -- want to send a different message than Congress is sending,” said Graham.  “They want people to know they are committed to Victory in Iraq and they don’t want Congress to undercut them.  They know victory is possible.  I hear them and I wish others would too.”

The Appeal for Courage petition was started in February by two U.S. service members serving in Iraq: Lieutenant Jason Nichols, a Navy Information Professional officer and Staff Sergeant David Thul, of the Minnesota National Guard.  It states:

“As an American currently serving my nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to fully support our mission in Iraq and halt any calls for retreat.  I also respectfully urge my political leaders to actively oppose media efforts which embolden my enemy while demoralizing American support at home. The War in Iraq is a necessary and just effort to bring freedom to the Middle East and protect America from further attack.”

The petition was presented by Bob Wallace, Executive Director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), on behalf of the petitioner’s organizers.  The elected officials at the event included Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), and Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Florida).

In a statement this morning LT Nichols and SSG Thul said:

"This Appeal is a direct communication to Congress from the currently serving military troops. We are respectfully asking for full support in finishing the mission you assigned us here in Iraq.  Patience and resolve will result in a stable democratic country in the Middle East.  Early withdrawal will result in a stronger enemy, a weaker America, and a demoralized US Armed forces.  Building a new democracy takes time, and we are making steady progress. We need your support to finish the job."

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NOTE: For more information please visit www.appealforcourage.org.

May 02 2007

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the South Carolina Office of Victim Assistance will receive a $4,088,000 grant.  The funds will be used to provide assistance to victims of crime.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the agency's merit-based or competitive allocation process.

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May 02 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Chesterfield County Rural Water Company will receive a $1,369,500 grant and a $4,071,000 loan for water system infrastructure improvements.

The funds will be used for the installation of 168,000 feet of waterline; the construction of a 500,000-gallon elevated water tank and booster pump station; a generator; and associated hydrants and controls. 

The grant and loan were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the agency's merit-based or competitive allocation process.

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May 02 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced McCormick County will receive a $463,600 grant and a $627,000 loan to provide sewer service to the Plum Branch area and National Guard Training Facility.

The funds will be used for the installation of two pump stations and 34,375 linear feet of force main. 

The grant and loan were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the agency's merit-based or competitive allocation process.  The South Carolina National Guard is also contributing $500,000 to the total cost of the project.

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May 02 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Barrineau Public Utilities Company in Lake City will receive a $545,200 grant and a $1,250,000 loan to provide water service to the Moore’s Crossroads, Terrell’s Crossroads, Springs’ Crossroads, and Horse Branch communities.

The funds will be used for the installation of 53,930 feet of eight-inch waterline; 29,052 feet of six-inch waterline; and 9,978 feet of three-inch waterline. 

The grant and loan were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the agency's merit-based or competitive allocation process.

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May 02 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Town of Ware Shoals will receive a $1,110,000 grant and a $1,553,000 loan for water system infrastructure improvements.

The funds will be used for the construction of a 300,000-gallon elevated water tank and 2 pump stations; the installation of 4,300 feet of twelve-inch waterline and 2,900 feet of six-inch waterline; the purchase of equipment; and the installation of radio read meters and other appurtenances. 

The grant and loan were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the agency's merit-based or competitive allocation process.

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May 01 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the presidential veto of the supplemental appropriation bill which establishes timelines and deadlines for U.S. efforts in Iraq. "President Bush is right to veto this legislation. It would have ensured our nation's defeat in a war we cannot afford to lose." #####