Feb 09 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today joined with Senate colleagues to introduce the Pork Barrel Reduction Act (PBRA). “When I go home, one of the biggest criticisms I hear is ‘what are you doing up there with our money?’ said Graham. “This legislation will hopefully answer that question by opening up the budget process and making spending more transparent. I think the more people know, the less they’ll want us to spend.” Among the major provisions of PBRA:
  • Requires full disclosure of any and all earmarks included in bills. The provision requires a detailed description of all earmarks, including the identity of the lawmaker seeking the earmark and the earmark’s purpose.
  • Requires legislation to be filed and publicly available for at least 48 hours prior to floor consideration. This increases transparency and gives lawmakers, and the American public, time to review legislation before it receives a vote.
  • Requires recipients of federal dollars to disclose the amount of money that they spend on lobbyists. This provision reduces the likelihood taxpayers will unknowingly fund lobbyists who are promoting wasteful earmarks and working against the interests of hard-working taxpayers.
  • Creates a new point of order against unauthorized earmarks and policy riders. This point of order allows for the elimination of extraneous individual earmarks and policy riders. Under this provision, only the offending provision would be removed from the appropriations bill or conference report if a point of order was sustained, thus maintaining the integrity of the underlying bill.
  • Prohibits federal agencies from spending money on items and earmarks that were only included in unamendable committee or conference reports. This provision requires that all earmarks and spending items be in bill text, allowing for amendment and debate.
  • Strengthens current Senate rules against the conference report inclusion of matter not considered by the House or Senate. This provision prohibits consideration of conference reports containing matter not committed by either the House or Senate. Current rules allow for a point of order against reports with new matter, but many new provisions sneak by when they are attached to must-pass bills that can overcome the point of order.
“In years past, we’ve had some spending items that have been embarrassing and some that just haven’t passed the smell test,” said Graham. “At the end of the day, knowledge is power and we’re giving the American people knowledge about what we’re doing with their money.” According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress passed 3,023 earmarks in 1996, costing taxpayers $19.5 billion. However, last year that number grew to 15,877 projects, costing taxpayers $47.4 billion. Graham was joined in introducing the legislation by U.S. Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), John Sununu (R-NH). #####

Feb 09 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced he and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) will introduce a bill to revoke China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. Since granting PNTR status in 2001, the U.S trade deficit with China has doubled to more than $200 billion last year. “This legislation is a reaction to the Chinese government’s economic and human rights policies that have only gotten worse – across the board – since they were given PNTR status,” said Graham. “On every front, China is marching backwards. They continue to violate normal business practices by manipulating their currency. They do not respect intellectual property to the detriment of the entrepreneurs of the world.” Graham noted the Chinese government forcing companies based in the United States to help restrict Internet access as a cost of doing business in the country as one further example of government oppression and economic manipulation. “The Chinese are policing Internet services provided by American companies and as a result of this practice, Chinese citizens have been jailed,” said Graham. “The tipping point was when the Chinese seized email and sentenced a reporter to ten years in prison. On all fronts, China is engaging in practices that could not reasonably be considered normal within the international community.” The Graham bill would require Congress to grant normal trade relations status to China on an annual basis. ####

Feb 07 2006

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Pee Dee Healthy Start in Florence will receive a $750,000 grant to eliminate disparities in perinatal health. The Healthy Start Initiative develops and implements strategies to eliminate factors contributing to infant mortality, low birth weight, and other adverse outcomes. Healthy Start forms coalitions with health care providers, businesses, and public and private organizations to address these issues. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Feb 07 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced New Horizon Family Health Services in Greenville will receive a $2,386,357 Community Health Center grant. Community Health Center grants are designed to promote the development and operation of community-based primary health care service systems in medically underserved areas. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Feb 02 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center in Columbia will receive a $1,095,557 grant. Community Health Center grants are designed to promote the development and operation of community-based primary health care service systems in medically underserved areas. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Feb 01 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today said they support Edwin ‘Ed’ Foulke of Greenville for the position of Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA.) A Greenville resident, Foulke is an accomplished labor law attorney, who boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience in occupational safety and health related legal issues. He has served with distinction for over fifteen years as a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) and is a natural fit for this important post. Foulke yesterday went before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to answer questions from Senators. “All South Carolinians should be proud that President Bush has selected Ed for this position,” said Graham. “This is a very important job for the American workforce and business community. We need someone with his talents at OSHA to oversee worker safety and ensure the government regulations placed on businesses meet the common-sense test. I support his nomination and know he will serve our nation well in this position.” “Ed Foulke has long served South Carolina, and I'm confident he has the intellect and experience to take the lead at OSHA,” said Senator DeMint. “I have come to know Ed as a man of integrity and principle, traits that will serve our nation well. The conclusion of Ed’s positive nomination hearing is a win for American workers and businesses. I look forward to his confirmation.” A graduate of Loyola University (New Orleans) School of Law, Foulke is currently a partner with Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman practicing out of the firm’s Greenville and Washington offices. He is admitted to practice in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, the District of Columbia, the Fourth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal as well as the United States Supreme Court. In addition to publishing extensively on a number of topics related to employment and labor law, Foulke has guest lectured for several Universities and business organizations. He also holds a LLM Masters in Law from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. #####

Jan 31 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the death of Coretta Scott King. “All Americans should celebrate a life well-lived. “Mrs. King was a strong voice for economic and social justice. She was a pioneer of the civil rights movement who stood on her own as one of the most effective voices in America expressing equality for all. She was a brave woman who held firm to her beliefs during some of America’s most difficult days. Her courage in standing for the idea of justice for all will be an inspiration for future generations of Americans. “Mrs. King has rightfully earned her place in history as a great American.” #####

Jan 31 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement after Justice Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Graham supported the nomination in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the floor of the Senate. The vote today was 58-42 in support of Justice Alito. “It is a great day for the Supreme Court and a great day for the country. “Justice Alito is one of the most qualified nominees to ever come before the Senate. He is very much a mainstream conservative and will serve on the Supreme Court with distinction. His conservative judicial philosophy will have an impact on the Court for decades to come. “Justice Alito has fifteen years of judicial experience on the federal bench and has received rave reviews from every corner of the legal community. The American Bar Association rated him unanimously as well-qualified, their highest rating for a position on the Supreme Court. People who work with him, even those who disagree with him, say he is a kind, decent man who is a judge’s judge. “President Bush chose well when he nominated Justice Alito for this important position. I’m very pleased the Senate has now confirmed him to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.” ######

Jan 27 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the University of South Carolina Research Foundation will receive $150,000 per year over the next three years for research into the development of fuel for the next generation of nuclear reactors. “We must continue to expand our research and development efforts in nuclear energy,” said Graham. “Nuclear power is a clean source of energy that has been safely providing power to South Carolina for decades. I am pleased our state’s research institutions are playing a leading role in the development of next-generation energy technology.” The three-year project is a partnership between the USC and the Savannah River National Lab. This project was one of eight to receive funding under this program out of 160 applicants. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. ####

Jan 27 2006

Graham Says Consultation Needed in Restructuring National Guard

Senators to Offer Bipartisan Senate Resolution Seeking Consultation Between Pentagon, Congress and Governors

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) yesterday introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the National Guard and requesting the Department of Defense seek input from Congress and governors when deciding future changes to National Guard personnel and calling on the Pentagon to resolve equipment shortages. Graham and Nelson are the Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “At this crucial time in our nation’s history, we are more dependent on the National Guard than ever,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). “Now is not the time to diminish the role the reserves play in the American military. I look forward to working with Senator Nelson, who has been a good friend to the National Guard, to ensure our reserve forces are properly structured.” “The members of our National Guard aren’t ‘weekend warriors,’” said Senator Nelson. “They’re indispensable citizen-soldiers, airmen and airwomen who serve their country full-time when needed, and in return, I expect the Department of Defense to fully support the National Guard missions here and around the world.” The National Guard has a unique role in defending the nation. Guard troops have a dual responsibility: to the nation and to their home states. The Department of Defense is proposing cuts in personnel levels for the Guard and the Guard is plagued by significant shortages of critical equipment. The resolution calls for the Department of Defense to: Fully fund the equipment needs of the National Guard; Consult with Congress and the nation’s governors as soon as possible on any proposed changes to the National Guard force structure; Consider the National Guard’s role in homeland defense when considering the National Guard’s force structure; Create budget projections that detail cost savings from any National Guard force structure changes, as well as projected costs in the event large personnel increases are necessary to respond to a homeland defense emergency; Ensure Congress and our nation’s governors that potential personnel cuts will not impact the safety and security of the American people. The resolution arrives as the future of the National Guard is currently being determined by the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Despite and as a result of their significant work, the National Guard continues to experience equipment shortages. Last November, Senators Nelson, Graham and 40 other senators from both political parties sent President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a letter urging them to fully fund the National Guard. The guard is experiencing equipment deficiencies all over the country including shortages of humvees, rough terrain trucks, over-the-road tractors, wreckers, semi-trailers, communication equipment, and weapon mounts for trucks. The resolution is supported by the National Guard Association of the United States. Also, current co-sponsors of the bipartisan resolution include Senators: Ben Nelson (NE), Lindsey Graham (SC), George Allen (VA), Jim Talent (MO), Elizabeth Dole (NC), Olympia Snowe (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), John Thune (SD), Johnny Isakson (GA), Mike DeWine (OH), Tim Johnson (SD), Richard Durbin (IL), Robert Menendez (NJ), Mary Landrieu (LA), Bill Nelson (FL), Tom Harkin (IA), Byron Dorgan (ND), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Jeff Bingaman (NM), Daniel Akaka (HI), Max Baucus (MT), Hillary Clinton (NY), Herb Kohl (WI), Barbara Mikulski (AK), Evan Bayh (IN), Maria Cantwell (WA), Mark Pryor (AR), Ken Salazar (CO), Joseph Lieberman (CT), Joseph Biden (DE), Kent Conrad (ND), Edward Kennedy (MA), Russell Feingold (WI), Susan Collins (ME), Norm Coleman (MN), and Lamar Alexander (TN). ####