Mar 22 2007

WASHINGTON – Over the past two months, two wildlife habitat conservation projects in South Carolina have received more than $13 million in federal grant money. 

In January, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced $8.6 million for the Woodbury Wildlife Management Area and Hamilton Ridge Wildlife Management Area.  Today, he announced these wildlife areas will receive another $5 million in federal grants.  The funds will be used by the state to help purchase the tracts of land.  Both protected areas will be placed in the SCDNR Wildlife Management Area program and will be open to the public for traditional outdoor recreational opportunities such as birding, nature walking, hunting, and fishing. 

“One of South Carolina’s greatest treasures is the natural beauty of our surroundings,” said Graham.  “We have a responsibility to help ensure our state’s natural resources are preserved for the benefit of future generations.  I’m very pleased to see a continued commitment to protecting both of these environmentally significant tracts of land.”

The Forest Legacy Project grants include:

  • $2.5 million to purchase the Woodbury Wildlife Management Area.  The Woodbury tract, covering 25,668 acres, will protect 27.5 miles of river frontage along the Great Pee Dee River and 11.5 miles of frontage along the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County.  Graham announced $4.45 million for this project earlier this year.
  • $2.5 million to purchase the Hamilton Ridge Wildlife Management Area along the Savannah River in Hampton County.  This tract of 13,281 acres is adjacent to 12,600 acres of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)-owned Wildlife Management Areas known as Webb and Palachucola.  Protection of Hamilton Ridge will double the protected acreage in this block and add another 8.5 miles to the existing 5 miles of state-protected frontage on the Savannah River.  Graham announced $4.15 million for this project earlier this year.

The grants announced today were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.

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Mar 21 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced an amendment along with Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) to the Democratic Budget Resolution extending tax relief for the American taxpayer. The amendment was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 51-47. The Kyl-Graham amendment: * Established the Death Tax exemption at $5 million and ensures the rate will be no more than thirty-five percent. * Extended the lower rates contained in 2001 Bush tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. This change would help more than 200,000 taxpayers in South Carolina. * Extended educational tax deductions including deductions for tuition and student loan interest. * Permanently extended the $250 teacher classroom expense deduction. "I'm disappointed the Senate did not accept our amendment," said Graham. "One of my top priorities this year was for Congress to begin extending the Bush tax cuts. They have proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health." The Democratic Budget Resolution under debate in the Senate does not extend the Bush tax cuts while the Kyl-Graham amendment would have saved taxpayers $72.3 billion over the next five years. "There are going to be a lot of mysterious deaths on New Years Eve 2010 in order to enjoy the benefits of no Death Tax," quipped Graham. "People in South Carolina understand the Death Tax going from zero to a fifty-five percent overnight is a nasty blow. "There are no good reasons why small business owners and family farmers should have to buy their businesses back from the government," said Graham. "Unfortunately, if we allow the Death Tax to go back into effect at pre-2001 tax relief levels, it will devastate family farmers and small business owners once again." Under current law, the 2001 Bush tax cuts are set to expire on December 31, 2010. When they expire the marriage penalty, Death Tax, lower tax rates, lower tax rates on capital gains, and an assortment of other tax breaks will revert to the pre-2001 tax structure resulting in a $916 billion tax increase. "I hope Congress will extend the Bush tax cuts," said Graham. "The Bush tax cuts have been a central piece of the puzzle in creating a robust national economy," concluded Graham. "Allowing the tax cuts to expire will have a devastating impact on economic growth." #####

Mar 16 2007

WASHINGTON - Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made the following statement today regarding their trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Saturday, March 10, 2007: We were present during the Combatant Status Review Tribunal of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (KSM) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We viewed the proceeding on closed circuit TV in an adjoining room to where the hearing was held. We were able to view the entire procedure. The tribunal consisted of three military officers. The president of the tribunal was a judge advocate. The purpose of the proceeding was to determine if KSM is an enemy combatant under Department of Defense regulations. In addition to the tribunal members and KSM, a personal representative, who was not a lawyer, was present to administratively assist KSM. A recorder and an interpreter were also present. In the course of the proceeding, a lengthy statement was read by the personal representative on KSM's behalf detailing his leadership in planning the 9/11 terrorist attacks, personal involvement in executions, and many other terrorist activities. KSM was asked by the tribunal president if he understood his written statement and whether it was accurate. KSM replied in English that he did. In addition, the tribunal was presented with a written statement from KSM alleging mistreatment during his captivity prior to arriving at Guantanamo. This statement was made a part of the classified record of the proceeding. The panel said that the allegations will be submitted to appropriate authorities. Allegations of prisoner mistreatment must be taken seriously and properly investigated. To do otherwise would reflect poorly on our nation. The tribunal President made an inquiry as to whether the allegations of abuse affected the testimony given to the tribunal. KSM answered in English that his testimony was accurate, truthful, and voluntary. He also provided additional oral statements in English and it seemed clear that he has a good understanding of the English language. The interpreter was used only rarely. We were impressed with the professionalism and demeanor of the tribunal. KSM was given the opportunity to speak freely. He did so in a non-disruptive way and was respectful to the tribunal personnel. The true test of the CSRT process is not a case in which the detainee admits the allegations against him, it is a case in which the detainee disputes those allegations. Judicial review of the tribunals is ongoing. We will continue to review the process and will explore possible ways to improve this process through Congressional action. This case represents an important milestone in the War on Terror. It was apparent to us that KSM wanted to use the tribunal process to detail his role in 9/11 and many other terror plots and to record for history the part he has played in a war that he has unabashedly waged. It was apparent that KSM views himself as a warrior, motivated by religious teachings, and seeks his place in history. ###

Mar 15 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted against the Democratic budget resolution in the Senate Budget Committee. The budget resolution establishes spending levels for Fiscal Year 2008 and lays out budget projections for future years. "One of my top priorities this year was for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts," said Graham. "The tax cuts have proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health. Instead of extending the Bush tax cuts, the Democratic proposal actually allows them to lapse creating a $900 billion tax increase on the American taxpayer." The Democratic budget resolution passed through committee by a vote of 12-11. Graham said unless changes are made to the proposal he will be forced to vote against it against on the floor of the Senate. "The Democratic budget resolution leaves much to be desired," said Graham. "The budget process is never easy and I don't expect this year to be any different. However, we seem to be charting a path that leads to higher taxes, increased spending, and does not prepare us for the looming entitlement crisis. There is no doubt we can and must do better for America's taxpayers." #####

Mar 15 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement about votes on Iraq. The Senate voted on three separate resolutions. Reid Resolution: "I'm pleased the Senate rejected the ill-conceived resolution from Majority Leader Reid. If the resolution had passed, it would have been a colossal mistake. A majority of the Senate understood setting deadlines for withdrawal will embolden our enemy, weaken moderates in Iraq fighting for democracy, and undercut General Petraeus. Gregg and Murray Resolutions: "I was pleased the Senate overwhelmingly voted not to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq. This is a strong signal to our troops that we stand behind them and will ensure they have the support they need to fight and win this war." Conclusion: "I hope Congress will resist the temptation to micromanage the war. We should let our generals lead the fight and offer support to moderates in the region who are standing up to the extremists. "I'm very pleased we did not undercut our commander in the field at a time when there are early signs of progress in the new effort to stabilize Iraq." ####

Mar 15 2007

MEGYN KENDALL, FOX HOST: If he is telling the truth, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was planning a truly devastating series of attacks when he was arrested back in 2003. According to him, he was plotting to destroy the Empire State Building, the New York Stock Exchange and the Panama Canal. He also says he was trying to kill presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as Pope John Paul II. But can these claims be believed? Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina joins us now live from Capitol Hill. Hello, Senator. Thanks for being with us. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Good morning. KENDALL: OK. So here's the first question: Can these claims be believed? GRAHAM: I think we can believe the claim about 9/11. I can assure you that happened, and everybody in America knows it happened and the families know it happened. He listed a long list of terror enterprises that go back over a decade. Yes, I think we can believe that he considers us the enemy, that he considers anyone who disagrees with him religiously the enemy. I think we would be stupid not to believe that we're at war with these people. He is not a criminal; he's a warrior who's committed criminal acts. He should be treated as an enemy combatant, someone who's at war with the United States. And if we don't believe Al Qaida and their agenda, we do so at our own peril. It's time to wake up and realize that we are in a global war. They've been at war with us a lot longer than we've been at war with them, and we need to get with it and win this war. And he's in the right place -- a military prison. He should never be in a federal court or a federal civilian prison. He needs to be in a military court and a military prison. KENDALL: Senator, do you see this -- I mean, if you actually believe that he was planning on committing all of these atrocities, I mean, is this, is this -- what kind of a testament is this to the efforts of U.S. intelligence and anti-terror forces? GRAHAM: The only thing that one would question -- is he trying to embellish his role in Islamic jihadist history. I do believe that the details he's provided us will be corroborated. What it tells us -- that he has been at war with us and the Al Qaida network has been at war with us for a decade. And what did they say will happen next? They want to win in Iraq, drive us not just out of Iraq, but the Mideast; topple every moderate government in the Mideast. Set up a religious theocracy cruel in nature in Baghdad in the Iraq region and eventually destroy Israel. So this should be a wake-up call. We should understand that the intelligence agents who have captured this man, the military members who are detaining him, are doing us a great service; that we need the ability to interrogate in an effective manner people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And they ought to be in a military prison, not a civilian prison. KENDALL: Right. And on that score -- I mean, obviously, these admissions were made in the context of him defending his label of being an enemy combatant, and now the next step is a trial. What now for him? What do you expect is going to happen to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed now? GRAHAM: I think that based on the record that there will be a solid case that he is an enemy combatant, not a common criminal, but somebody who's at war with the United States, who has planed attacks against the United States in a military fashion with a military objective, who operates out of uniform; that the definition of enemy combatant used at Guantanamo Bay fits him to a tee. And the next thing awaiting him would be a war crimes trial, because the activity that he has confessed to is illegal activity under the law of armed conflict. I've been a military lawyer for 20-something years. We're at war, and the body of law we should apply to these people is the law of armed conflict, not domestic criminal law. So I expect him to be tried. KENDALL: It's pretty amazing that somebody like that in the United States of America gets even those rights, right, Senator? Thanks so much for being with us this morning. GRAHAM: Thank you.

Mar 14 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) yesterday voted against the 9/11 Commission bill because of Senate Democrats insistence on adding a provision allowing workers for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to unionize. The unionization proposal was not included in the 9/11 Commission Report. The vote in the Senate was 60-38. The legislation will now go to conference with the House of Representatives. "This provision is the Democrats political payback for union support during the last election," said Graham. "It is an irresponsible position to take when it comes to our national security." Graham noted that after the United Kingdom air bombing plot was stopped, TSA changed the nature of employees' work and even the location of their work to respond to these emergencies. They also implemented new operating procedures within hours to deal with the new threat. "President Bush has threatened a presidential veto, a position which I strongly support," said Graham. "Flexibility is a key component in helping protect and secure Americans when they travel. The unionization proposal will not help make America safer." ######

Mar 07 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $450,000 in grants to fire departments in South Carolina. "Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians," said Graham. "These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available." "South Carolina's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants," said Senator DeMint. The grants were awarded for Operations and Firefighter Safety Programs. Fire departments may use these funds for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities. The grants awarded include: Denmark Denmark Volunteer Fire Department will receive $37,354. Dillon Dillon County Fire Department will receive $74,590. Great Falls Great Falls Fire Department will receive $58,164. Greenville Duncan Chapel Fire District will receive $155,330. North Charleston City of North Charleston Fire Department will receive $72,696. Salem Keowee Fire Department will receive $20,235. Saluda Old Town Fire and Rescue will receive $36,813. 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. ####

Mar 06 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced nearly $975,000 in competitive scientific research grants for Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Clemson
Clemson University will receive $375,000 for a project entitled “Inverted Colloidal Crystal Membranes.”

USC Research Foundation
USC Research Foundation will receive $400,000 for a project entitled “CAREER: Quantifying the Importance of Friction in the Rheology and Structure of Dense Colloidal Dispersions,” and $199,431 for “Developing an Engineering Environment for Fostering Effective Critical Thinking Through Measurements.”
 
All of the grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation.

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Mar 06 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today attended a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on medical care provided to veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. "The hearing shed light on what happened with Building 18 at Walter Reed and the state of DoD and VA health care," said Graham. "Repairs were made to the building in 2005 but the real problems were not fixed. There is no doubt the soldiers who served our nation and went to Walter Reed for treatment deserve better. "We are going to fix the problem at Walter Reed," said Graham. "We are also going to make it easier for people who have been injured in battle or have service-related injuries to get the medical treatment they have earned." Graham said he hopes this current episode will bring into focus the need for the federal government to increase defense spending to combat the rising challenges - both on the battlefield and in support services - necessary to fight and win the War on Terror. "We are in a state of war which could last a generation," said Graham. "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone on longer than anticipated and the injuries sustained on the battlefield have been higher than expected. Our military health care system is running out of capacity. "Hopefully, this will convince the Congress we cannot successfully prosecute the war and care for our wounded soldiers spending just 3.8 percent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on defense," said Graham. "The historical average is 5 percent. In World War II, we spent one-third of our GDP on the war effort. "We need more money, capacity, and bed space on the medical side," said Graham. "We need more troops, better benefits for our soldiers, and equipment on the war-fighting side. Commanders have to do a better job of being accountable and we in the Congress need to do a better job of ensuring the military has adequate resources to carry out all of its duties." Graham also noted that the recent episode is not an indictment of all health care provided to members of the military and veterans of our nation. "The care we are giving our soldiers on the battlefield is second to none," said Graham. "We are saving the lives of people who in previous wars would have died. Many of our health care professionals are doing a very good job during difficult times. We need to give them the resources they need to do their jobs and continue to reward those who are providing excellent health care to those in the military." #####