Mar 31 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on South Carolina and REAL ID. 

 

Graham said:

 

“I am pleased South Carolina has been granted an extension by Secretary Chertoff regarding REAL ID compliance.  The decision was more than justified.

 

“The Governor has done an excellent job in explaining his concerns to federal officials, many of which I share.  Our state already meets 16 of the 18 compliance benchmarks – about 90 percent -- called for in REAL ID.  Governor Sanford’s efforts to reform our state drivers’ license program has made the system more secure and efficient.

 

“REAL ID grew out of recommendations made by the 9-11 Commission over the need for more secure forms of identification.  It was viewed as an effective means of cracking down on the use of fraudulent documents like those used by the 9/11 hijackers.  In addition, REAL ID would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain employment by tightening acceptable forms of identification.

 

“I will do my part to help ensure the federal government addresses the unfunded mandate burden imposed on the states by REAL ID.  Governors and state legislatures across the country are rightfully concerned about these requirements.

 

“However, in this age of international terrorism we must secure the homeland.  We need better identification to protect air travel, access to federal buildings, institutions, and other high value terrorist targets.

 

“I believe we can accommodate the legitimate national security needs of our nation with the concerns raised by Governor Sanford and the state legislature.” 

 

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Mar 31 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement in response to news the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G) and Santee Cooper have submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build and operate up to two new nuclear electric generating units. 

 

Graham said:

 

“I’m very pleased and excited to hear SCE&G and Santee Cooper have applied to construct and operate two new nuclear power plants in South Carolina .

 

“The additional use of nuclear power is one of the major steps we must take to become more energy independent as a nation.

 

“The benefits of nuclear power are clear: It is reliable, efficient, and safe.  It helps lessen our dependence on foreign oil.    It is an environmentally-friendly energy source which does not pollute our air or produce carbon emissions.

 

“I strongly support this application.  Construction and operation of new nuclear power plants will provide South Carolina with abundant, affordable power for decades to come.” 

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Mar 24 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today made this statement.

 

"Yesterday, I misspoke when I said we will be, ‘somewhere around 100,000 troops’ in Iraq by the end of 2008.  I think we will be at pre-surge levels, about 130,000 troops, at years end.  I have consistently said any changes or further reductions in troops should be based upon conditions on the ground and the advice of our commanders.”

 

 

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Mar 18 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) signed on to an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of the District of Columbia v. Heller.  Oral arguments in the case were heard in the Supreme Court earlier today.

The brief was signed by Vice President Dick Cheney, 55 U.S. Senators, and 250 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Graham made these comments on District of Columbia v. Heller.

“This case involves nothing more than the right of law abiding persons to keep common handguns and usable firearms for lawful self-defense in the home. 

“Congress has historically viewed the Second Amendment as protecting from infringement the right of the people at large to keep and bear arms.  It has further regarded ordinary, commonly-possessed rifles, handguns, and shotguns to be constitutionally protected firearms.  It has also passed regulations for engaging in firearms businesses and to require background checks on firearms transferees, and has restricted certain dangerous categories of persons from possession of firearms.  None of these laws is called into question by the lower court’s limited holding.

“The Court should affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.”

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BACKGROUND

The Supreme Court’s consideration of the case marks the first time since 1939 that the Court will rule on a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law.  The Court’s decision is expected to have broad and long-lasting ramifications on gun ownership and Second Amendment rights.

The District of Columbia has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any city in the United States.  In 1976, the City Council banned handguns and required rifles and shotguns to be registered, stored unloaded and either locked or unassembled. 

Six District of Columbia residents sued the city over this firearms prohibition. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in March 2007 that the District of Columbia’s gun control laws violate individual Second Amendment rights.  The majority opinion stated, “Section 7-2507.02, like the bar of carrying a pistol within a home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense.  As such we hold it is unconstitutional.”

 

Mar 13 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) amendment to the Budget Resolution to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts was defeated today in the Senate.  The vote was 47-52.

 

“One of our top priorities should be for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts,” said Graham.  “Tax relief has proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health.  Needless to say, I’m very disappointed a majority of the Senate did not vote for my amendment.

 

“Do we really want to raise taxes on Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet?” questioned Graham.  “Millions of taxpayers and businesses will see their tax bills literally increase overnight if we don’t make the Bush tax cuts permanent.  We will drive companies offshore and create fewer jobs here at home.”

 

Graham noted that if the tax cuts are not made permanent 116 million taxpayers will see their tax bill increase an average of $1,800. 

 

The Graham amendment makes room in the budget to make permanent:

  • The current marginal tax rates of 35, 33, 28, and 25 percent.  If they are allowed to expire on December 31, 2010 the new rates will be 39.6, 36, 31 and 28 percent.
  • Lower rates on capital gains and dividends.
  • College tuition deduction.
  • Includes the Kyl language on estate tax relief – a $5 million exemption with a 35 percent top rate.

“Our refusal to extend the Bush tax cuts means there may be a major tax increase on millions of hard-working Americans,” said Graham.  “At a time when people need more money for their families and businesses at home, we should have made the Bush tax cuts permanent.”

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Mar 12 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has introduced an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.  A Senate vote on the Graham Amendment is expected on Thursday.

“Do we really want to raise taxes on Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet?” questioned Graham.  “Millions of taxpayers and businesses will see their tax bills literally increase overnight if we don’t make the Bush tax cuts permanent.  We will drive companies offshore and create fewer jobs here at home.”

Graham noted that if the tax cuts are not made permanent 116 million taxpayers will see their tax bill increase an average of $1,800. 

The Graham amendment makes room in the budget to make permanent:

  • The current marginal tax rates of 35, 33, 28, and 25 percent.  If they are allowed to expire
  • December 31, 2010 the new rates will be 39.6, 36, 31 and 28 percent.
  • Lower rates on capital gains and dividends.
  • College tuition deduction
  • Includes the Kyl language on estate tax relief – a $5 million exemption with a 35 percent top rate.

“If we don’t pass my amendment there is going to be a major tax increase coming to millions of hard-working Americans,” said Graham.  “At a time when people need more money for their families and businesses at home, it’s time to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.” 

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Mar 07 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been named a ‘Friend of the Coast’ by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA). 

 

“The Senator has proven himself as a champion of coastal issues by attaining funding and authorization for beach nourishment projects at Folly Beach , Edisto Island , Pawley’s Island, and the Grand Strand,” said Dr. Tim Kana, ASBPA Board member from South Carolina .  “The Senator is a strong voice for the coast.” 

 

ASBPA also acknowledged Graham for his work in authorizing language in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 to construct storm water outfalls in Surfside Beach , Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach to improve water quality.  The group noted the projects will have a positive effect on the region’s economy.

 

The award was presented to Graham at the group’s 2008 Coastal Summit held last week in Washington . 

 

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Mar 05 2008

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on comments by Senators Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and Barack Obama (D-Illinois).

“Senator Clinton made an interesting statement last night.  She said, “We're ready to end the war in Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan .”  No one doubts we must win in Afghanistan , the country that gave rise to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  But Senator Clinton’s Iraq statement about “ending” the Iraq war was quite troubling. 

“I realize the political left in our country does not want to hear the word ‘win’ mentioned in a conversation about Iraq, but our own national security interests require us to ‘win,’ not simply ‘end.’  It really is a bit unnerving to me that Senator Clinton would not understand consequences of losing in Iraq .

Iraq is clearly a central battlefront in the War on Terror.  Winning is not only now possible, but necessary. 

“Last night, Senator Obama eloquently described how a grandfather living in Uganda was following the American presidential election.  He was right.  The world is watching and that audience includes some of the most vicious killers known to mankind.  Al Qaeda is taking measure of each and every word uttered. 

“While Al Qaeda has suffered from the surge of troops into Iraq , they are inspired when they hear American leaders discussing how they plan to leave the central battlefront in the War on Terror.  Here’s to hoping that neither Senator Clinton nor Obama give them inspiring moments in the weeks and months ahead.” 

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Mar 03 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased the U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab has requested settlement dispute consultations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China’s treatment of U.S. suppliers of financial information services.

“American financial services firms should have the same access to China’s financial markets as Chinese firms have in the United States ,” said Graham.  “The Chinese government has erected significant barriers aimed at restricting the ability of American financial service firms to compete in an open and fair manner in China .”

Graham, a long-time critic of Chinese trading practices and one of the leaders in the U.S. Senate to end Chinese currency manipulation, noted that the Chinese have tilted the playing field against American providers.  In 2006, China implemented regulations that prohibited foreign financial information suppliers from establishing local operations and required American companies to work through official-Chinese government designated firms.

“Market access and national treatment for U.S. financial services in accessing China’s markets is not merely a matter of fairness, it will create new opportunities for American firms and increase global economic growth,” said Graham. “Given the competitive advantage we enjoy in research, product development, and regulatory structure, a freer market in China will bolster the U.S. economy.

“When it comes to trade, China makes promises to the U.S. and world community and then goes about finding creative ways not to keep them,” said Graham.  “I appreciate the work of the USTR in this matter and her efforts to hold China accountable for their unfair trade practices.”

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Feb 27 2008

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the life and death of William F. Buckley, Jr.

“I had the great fortune of meeting Mr. Buckley on several occasions.  One could immediately recognize his keen intellect and sense of purpose.  I appreciate and admire his decades of work in pursuit of conservative government.

“With Mr. Buckley’s passing, our nation has lost one of its truly great political thinkers.  I send my deepest condolences to the Buckley family, friends, and colleagues at this difficult time.”

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