Jan 04 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the Graham-Levin-Kyl amendment to the recently enacted defense appropriations bill. “Under no circumstance did I intend, by a change in language, that existing lawsuits filed by enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) would be statutorily preserved. Nor do I believe a reasonable reading of the statute would lead to that conclusion. “The intent of the language contained within the Graham-Levin-Kyl amendment is that Courts will decide in accord with their own rules, procedures and precedents whether to proceed in pending cases. “It is my belief Congress has spoken in a bipartisan fashion – loud and clear – that enemy combatant terrorists engaged in hostile acts against the United States do not have the same legal rights as American citizens under Section 2241 of the federal criminal code passed by Congress. “It is clear from the Graham-Levin-Kyl amendment federal courts will retain jurisdiction to review military decisions as to whether an individual was properly classified as an enemy combatant. It is my belief the Courts will use the procedures outlined in Graham-Levin-Kyl for judicial review in place of habeas petitions under Section 2241 past, present, and future. The over 160 habeas petitions plus over 200 money damage claims are undermining the effective operation of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “Michael Ratner, a lawyer who has filed lawsuits on behalf of numerous enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, boasts about the fact this litigation has undermined intelligence gathering in the war on terror. Ratner said, “The litigation is brutal for [the United States]. It’s huge. We have over one hundred lawyers now from big and small firms working to represent these detainees. Every time an attorney goes down there, it makes it that much harder [for the U.S. military] to do what they’re doing. You can’t run an interrogation…with attorneys. What are they going to do now that we’re getting court orders to get more lawyers down there?” (Onnesha Roychoudhuri, The Torn Fabric of the Law: An Interview with Michael Ratner, Mother Jones Magazine, March 21, 2005.) “There are now cases filed by enemy combatants requesting better mail delivery, more exercise, judge-supervised interrogation, Internet access, the right to view DVDs and alleging medical malpractice. Never in the history of warfare have enemy prisoners been able to bring lawsuits about their detention. Thousands of Germans and Japanese prisoners during World War II were captured and held by the military. Not one case was allowed in federal court regarding their detention. “The legal review allowed for in Graham-Levin-Kyl is far beyond the requirements of the Geneva Convention but will prevent the unnecessary disruption of the operation of Guantamo Bay to protect our nation’s national security.” ####

Jan 04 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Catawba Regional Council of Governments will receive a $55,000 economic development grant. “Regionalism is the key to promoting economic growth and development,” said Graham. “I am pleased to see our local governments working together with the regional councils to improve the economic future of our state.” The funds will be used to support long-term regional economic development planning efforts. The Catawba Regional Council of Governments serves Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York County. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. ####

Dec 22 2005

Congress Improves Benefits for Military Personnel

Graham Helps Secure TRICARE for National Guard and Reserve

WASHINGTON -- The United States Senate last night approved the Fiscal Year 2006 Defense Authorization bill. The legislation improves benefits for military personnel including a provision offered by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) to expand TRICARE to all drilling reservists. Graham has worked with other Senators to expand access to health care for members of the National Guard and Reserve who are playing an ever-increasing and historic role in the global War on Terror. He noted that Guardsmen and Reservists now make up approximately 40 percent of American forces in Iraq. “Our work reflects a significant triumph for the Guard, Reserves and their families,” said Graham, chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. “Now, after years of relative neglect, these soldiers’ health care coverage and benefits are more in line with their service to our nation. This year’s bill provides continuous health care coverage for all drilling reservists, an important improvement over what we were able to accomplish last year.” Under the expansion of TRICARE championed by Graham, all members of the Selected Reserve are eligible to enroll in the military health care program for a monthly premium. The premiums are based on categories of eligibility: Category 1: Members of the Selected Reserve who are called to active duty qualify for TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS). Under this program, established last year, a reservist would accumulate one year of TRS coverage for every 90 days of active duty service. Monthly premiums during the years of accumulated eligibility are only 28 percent of the program cost. The government picks up the remaining 72 percent. As has always been the case, coverage is free of charge while on active duty. This bill now permits accumulation of earned periods of coverage for frequently deployed personnel. In addition, it authorizes 6 months of transitional coverage for family members following the death of the Reserve member, if the member dies while in an inactive status.

Category 2: Members of the Selected Reserve who are not called to active duty, and who otherwise do not qualify for health insurance due to unemployment or lack of employer-provided coverage, are eligible to enroll in TRICARE for a 50 percent cost-sharing premium. The government will pay the remaining 50 percent.

Category 3: Members of the Selected Reserve who do not fit into either of the above categories but would like to participate in TRICARE are eligible to do so for an 85 percent cost share. Employers are allowed and encouraged to contribute to the reservist’s share. The government contributes 15 percent of the costs. “I will continue to work to improve benefits available to members of the Guard and Reserve,” said Graham. “The nation will continue to need their services, in large numbers, in fighting the War on Terror. I am proud of and appreciate the progress we’ve made this year with the Senate and Bush Administration working together.” “Guardsmen and Reservists are citizen-soldiers,” said Graham. “Increasingly they are being called up, taken away from their work and families, and being sent to far-away lands for long tours of duty. We need to ensure the benefits they are receiving are equal to the sacrifice they are making to protect our country and interests around the world.” The defense bill authorized additional benefits for the men and women serving our nation in uniform. Among these important changes were: * A 3.1 percent pay raise for all military personnel;

* Payment of “matching fund” contributions of up to 5 percent of basic pay for first term enlistees who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan. The TSP is a 401(k) retirement plan available to all federal employees.

* Increases in maximum amounts of assignment incentive pay and hardship duty pay.

* $60 million increase in child care and family assistance services to active-duty and Reserve military families.

* Critical skills retention bonus of up to $100,000 over a career for members of the Selected Reserve.

* Increases TRICARE benefits for the surviving children of members who die on active duty.

* Increases to $100,000 in the death gratuity allowance payable to survivors of all active duty military decedents, including retroactive payment to October 7, 2001, the date of commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom.

* Directs the establishment of a uniform Department policy on casualty assistance to improve the services provided to survivors and next of kin of military members killed on active duty.

* In addition the bill authorizes increases in the active-duty end strength of 10,000 for the Army and 1,000 for the Marine Corps.

The bill has been passed by the House and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush in the coming days. ####

Dec 22 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint announced Congress has approved more than $100 million in South Carolina related defense projects. The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill. The bill passed the Senate 93-0. “South Carolina is in the forefront of developing cutting-edge military technology and equipping our men and women in uniform,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Many people in our state give their time, talent, and even their lives to provide for the defense of freedom throughout the world. The patriotism of South Carolina is unmatched. This bill will ensure that America continues to have the best trained and equipped fighting force in history.” “This legislation recognizes South Carolina’s cutting edge research and development and equipment production capabilities,” said DeMint. “This bill will benefit our military and fund the equipment necessary to sustain our men and women in uniform. I am proud of the role South Carolina plays in defending our nation and keeping us safe.” Projects funded in the bill include: LOWCOUNTRY: * $27 million for the purchase of two C-17 Maintenance Training Systems produced in Summerville. * $3 million for the purchase of Quadruple Specialty Containers produced in Charleston. * $3 million for the development of the Joint Threat Warning System, an air communication surveillance system that provides direct warning to aircrafts operating over hostile territory, enhancing situational awareness and increasing aircrew survivability and the probability of mission success. Development is based in Charleston. * $2.25 million for the South Carolina Research Authority to support the Lean Munitions program in Charleston. Lean Munitions will result in ammunition being produced in a timelier and cost efficient manner. * $2 million for the development of an automated container and cargo handling system. The Autolog System will be able to transfer containers from ship-to-ship or ship-to-lighter/dock. Development is based in Charleston. * $2.7 million for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center in Charleston. * $1.5 million for the development of vaccines for multivalent dengue viruses in Charleston. * $1 million for the additional SecureD real-time data encryption development, testing, and demonstration. UPSTATE: * $2 million to upgrade Combat Casualty Care Equipment, including personnel kits and on-board kits for tactical vehicles. The main production facility is located in Greenville. * $1.75 million for the South Carolina Research Authority to research and develop an active coating technology that adapts in real time to the surrounding situation and environment. The program will be based at Clemson University. * $1.75 million for development of the Advanced Warfighter Sustainment Systems for the 21st Century (AWSS-21). AWSS-21 will provide better packaged and more nutritious food to our soldiers in the field. Research is conducted at Clemson University and in Gray Court. MIDLANDS: * $4.5 million for the purchase of M249 SAW machine guns for the (Army or Marines) and $3.5 million for the (Army or Marines). The M249 is produced in Columbia. * $4 million for research and development of a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier for out-of-hospital resuscitation of patients with severe hemorrhagic shock. R&D will be done in Sumter. * $1.25 million for the University of South Carolina to conduct brain imaging and deception detection research. The focus of the research will measure brain wave activity and brain metabolism. PIEDMONT: * $5 million to purchase portable tent lighting produced in Clover. * $3.5 million for the purchase of All Terrain Military Utility Vehicles (M-Gator) for the Army National Guard. * $2.25 million for the development of high modulus carbon fibers in York. STATEWIDE * $24.5 million to support the Up-Armored HMMWV and Tactical Truck Crew Trainer Program in the Army National Guard. * $5 million for the purchase of All Terrain Military Utility Vehicles (M-Gator) for the Army. * $3.5 million for research and development of high temperature superconducting generators. Research is being conducted at the University of South Carolina and in Greenville. * $2.25 million for further deployment of the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Vibration Management Enhancement Program, a maintenance diagnostic system, on Guard helicopters. * $2.1 million for the development of an advanced electric drive system for military vehicles. Development is done at facilities throughout South Carolina. ####

Dec 19 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced York Technical College will receive a $1.5 million grant for the construction of the Chester Technical Center. “This Center will be a vital component in the future economic development of Chester County,” said Graham. “It will provide specialized job training for local companies, and will help the County recruit new employers and create jobs.” “This funding provides a critical piece of York Tech's plan to educate and train workers of the future,” said DeMint. “I congratulate York Tech on their efforts to bring the Chester Technical Center to fruition.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. ####

Dec 16 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on South Carolina’s unemployment figures. “The job losses we have suffered in South Carolina over the past few months are the result of a number of factors including the continued slump in domestic manufacturing. Unfortunately, it’s a phenomena occurring all over the country as our manufacturing sector has been hard-hit. “We’ve had some recent good news when it comes to new jobs locating in the state and I think these efforts will begin to pay off in the coming months. Governor Sanford and the State Department of Commerce’s efforts will create a better business climate and allow us to expand employment opportunities in the state.” #####

Dec 15 2005

Senate Praises the Life of Carroll Campbell

DeMint, Graham sponsor resolution honoring SC’s Former Governor

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) praised passage of S. Res. 332, a resolution “honoring the life of former Governor Carroll A. Campbell, and expressing the deepest condolences of the Senate to his family.” The resolution, authored by Senator DeMint and cosponsored by Senator Graham, was unanimously agreed to on Wednesday night. “South Carolina has lost one of her favorite sons,” said Graham. “Governor Campbell was a dedicated public servant, and I truly appreciate and admire all he has done for our state. His was a life well-lived, and I am pleased the Senate has honored his legacy.” “The nation lost a leader and a patriot, and I’ve lost a dear friend,” said Senator DeMint. “I’m proud that the entire Senate has paid tribute to Governor Campbell’s life of service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” FULL TEXT OF S. RES. 332 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES December 14, 2005 Mr. DEMINT (for himself and Mr. GRAHAM) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESOLUTION Honoring the life of former Governor Carroll A. Campbell, and expressing the deepest condolences of the Senate to his family. Whereas the Senate has learned with sadness of the death of Governor Carroll Campbell; Whereas Carroll Campbell dedicated a lifetime of service to the State of South Carolina and the United States; Whereas Carroll Campbell served most honorably as the Governor of South Carolina from 1987 to 1995; Whereas from 1979, and until he was elected Governor of South Carolina, Carroll Campbell served with high moral character and integrity in the United States House of Representatives; Whereas Carroll Campbell was the first Republican elected to the House of Representatives for the 4th Congressional District since the Reconstruction period; Whereas during his service as Governor, Carroll Campbell provided extraordinary leadership and comfort to the citizens of South Carolina throughout the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Hugo and the rebuilding of the coast; Whereas Carroll Campbell improved the economy of South Carolina and the livelihood of its citizens by attracting world class businesses; Whereas Carroll Campbell worked diligently to restructure the Government of South Carolina, making it more accessible and responsive to its citizens; Whereas Carroll Campbell focused on improving the quality of public education provided by the State of South Carolina to all of its citizens; Whereas Carroll Campbell was as devoted to his principles as he was to his loving family, which included his wife Iris, his sons Carroll and Mike, and his grandchildren `Blakeney' Herlong Campbell, Carroll `Berrett' Campbell, Michael `Rhodes' Campbell, and Marie `Riley' Campbell; and Whereas Carroll Campbell was a visionary who worked to improve the lives of all South Carolinians: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) extends its prayers and deepest condolences to the entire Campbell family; (2) honors the life of Carroll Campbell and expresses profound gratitude for his years of public service; and (3) acknowledges with appreciation the unfaltering commitment and loyalty of Carroll Campbell to his family and the State of South Carolina. ###

Dec 14 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $230,000 in grants to fire departments across South Carolina. “Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians,” said Graham. “These grants help fire departments save lives by providing the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.” “I’m pleased to announce these grants that are important to the brave firefighters that risk their lives for the families of South Carolina,” said Senator DeMint. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program grant 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. The grants awarded include: Blacksburg Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department will receive $34,912. Lugoff Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department will receive $74,865. Pawleys Island Georgetown County Fire District II/Midway Fire Department will receive $127,802. 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. ####

Dec 13 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will be in Iraq this week. Graham will be part of a group of U.S. Senators observing the Iraqi elections. Other Senators expected to participate in the trip include Joe Biden (D-DE), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). “I’m honored to represent our nation and witness history in the making,” said Graham. “I hope the Iraqis have a successful election in which there is widespread participation. All Americans want a successful election and to make that happen they need a good turnout and a fair process. “The Iraqi people going to the polls and choosing their elected representatives is a defining moment in the War on Terror,” said Graham. “While a successful election does not equal a functioning democracy, it is a huge step in the right direction.” #####

Dec 07 2005

WASHINGTON -– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement. “With the passing of Carroll Campbell, South Carolina has lost one of her favorite sons. “Governor Campbell reshaped South Carolina politics and was a trailblazer on many fronts. He was the first Governor to make an aggressive, successful effort to recruit large numbers of international businesses to our state and created a model we still follow today. He also helped reform and improve the way state government works for our citizens. “Republicans of my generation owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Campbell for his role in building the modern Republican Party. His very successful eight years as Governor helped lay the groundwork for the Republican takeover of the state legislature which occurred after he left office. “On the national front, he was a recognized leader and considered as a vice presidential candidate by several presidents. When Carroll Campbell spoke, people throughout the nation listened. “I truly appreciate and admire all he has done for our state. There’s no doubt his lifetime of work will continue to pay dividends to our state for years to come. “His was a life well-lived and my condolences go out to his wife and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.” #####