Sep 21 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on a deal reached between the Bush Administration and U.S. Senators. The deal allows the terrorism trials of suspected terrorists to go forward at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It protects President Bush’s CIA program for High-Value Targets (HVT), addresses the use of classified information in the trials of terrorists, and upholds our nation’s long standing commitment to the Geneva Conventions. It also prohibits terror suspects from filing lawsuits in federal court against American troops and protects CIA agents from frivolous lawsuits. Graham said: “From the beginning we all shared the same goal. Now, we agree on the path to get there. “I’m very pleased with the productive negotiations we had with the White House. We fine-tuned the President’s proposal and have a much stronger work product than we did when we started. I appreciate the good faith negotiating done by Steve Hadley and Steve Bradbury. They are excellent advocates for President Bush and I appreciate their willingness to listen, understand, and work with us to address our concerns. “President Bush and I want to put terrorists on trial for their actions before, on, and after 9-11. We also want to protect our nation from future attacks. However we must do so in a manner consistent with our laws, values, and traditions. The legislation we put together accomplishes these objectives. Major Points of the Agreement: “The Supreme Court, in a decision I found troubling, decided to apply Geneva Convention protections to the War on Terror. Their decision is binding, but they gave Congress and the Administration wide latitude on its implementation. “It was a false choice to think we had to choose between protecting the CIA program and abandoning our Geneva Convention obligations. It was also a false choice to think that we could not protect national security if we allowed a tribunal defendant to confront classified evidence against them. I think our legislation shows we are able to accomplish both objectives. “We allow an effective and aggressive CIA program designed to gather good information to protect us from the terrorists to continue. The program will operate in a manner that will not put our troops in jeopardy today or in future wars by redefining or weakening our Geneva Convention protections. “We also allow a terror suspect to confront the evidence against them while protecting national security by using rules and procedures already in place in our military justice system. The trials of terror suspects will be conducted in a manner unprecedented in American history. They will provide the strongest protections for classified information, but do so in a manner that will not convict someone without them ever knowing the evidence. The Supreme Court: “Our efforts to put terror suspects on trial, gain convictions, and carry out a sentence are now two-thirds complete. The last hurdle – the Supreme Court -- will eventually judge whether our work product is constitutional. I think the fine-tuning done during negotiations give us a much better chance of passing constitutional muster. Conclusion: “Finally, I would not have been doing my job as Senator if I saw a problem with the President’s proposal – which I did – and didn’t work to address it in a constructive manner. I said it from the start, a conviction against a terror suspect in a military tribunal is no good if it is later overturned by the Supreme Court. “As a nation, we will be better served by taking a few extra days and doing the best job we can to ensure the work product will withstand constitutional scrutiny. If the Supreme Court again strikes the tribunal process down, it will send us back to the drawing board. More importantly, justice will once again be delayed against those who have committed terrible acts against our nation. #####

Sep 20 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the city of Manning will receive a $879,600 loan and a $50,000 grant to construct a 6,400 square foot addition to the city’s fire station.

The loan and grant were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Sep 20 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) will receive a $10,790,377 grant to support cardiovascular research. MUSC is one of eleven schools throughout the country to receive funding as a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. The funds will support the Center for Developmentally Based Cardiovascular Diseases. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health. ####

Sep 20 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Horry-Georgetown Technical College will receive a $1.5 million grant to support the renovation of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Hospital to serve as a regional Healthcare Education Center. The project will involve the conversion and renovation of the existing three-story shell of the former Base Hospital into a state-of-the-art Healthcare Education Center providing training programs for Grand Strand residents in nursing and allied health programs. This facility renovation will allow the addition and expansion of health professions training to meet the need of the region’s growing and understaffed health care sector. The renovated training facility will house nearly 52,000 square feet of instructional, meeting and office space. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be matched with $5.8 million in local funds. ####

Sep 20 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Housing Authority of the City of Aiken will receive a $394,200 loan and a $100,000 grant for the construction of a community services building in Gloverville.

The building will provide space for community services including housing programs and Head Start.

The loan and grant were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Sep 19 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the State of South Carolina will receive more than $10.5 million in housing grants. The grants will be administered by the Office of Community Grant Programs. The awards consist of $10,348,521 for the HOME Investment Partnership Program and $192,628 for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative.
  • The HOME Investment Partnership Program creates affordable housing for low-income households. It allows communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
  • The American Dream Downpayment Initiative promotes home ownership opportunities by providing downpayment and closing cost assistance to low-income and minority households.
The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Sep 19 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Charleston County School District will receive a $313,195 grant and Lancaster County School District will receive a $639,188 grant to increase the participation of low-income students in Advanced Placement (AP) and pre-AP courses. The funds will be used to improve academic preparation for AP coursework and to expand the number of AP courses offered. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Sep 19 2006

Dole, Graham Raise Concerns about Vietnam Trade Status to USTR

Urge Schwab to ensure that the U.S. textile industry can remain competitive

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Lindsey Graham wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab yesterday, calling on her to defend the American textile industry from countries that engage in unfair trade practices, specifically expressing their concerns about the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral agreement. Dole and Graham have placed holds on legislation that would authorize the president to grant permanent normal trade relations status to Vietnam, which would pave the way for Vietnam to join the World Trade Organization. Dole and Graham are concerned about the potential negative impact that this agreement could have on Carolina textile jobs. “We believe that unless the government takes specific steps to ensure that the U.S. textile industry can be defended against a communist country that heavily subsidizes its textile and apparel sector, this agreement is likely to cause large-scale job losses in both of our states,” wrote Dole and Graham to Schwab. “We believe that it would be unreasonable to ask U.S. workers to compete with products manufactured under a state-run economy without at least providing an adequate mechanism for the industry to defend itself.” Dole and Graham pointed out that like China, Vietnam has a large and heavily subsidized textile sector that utilizes anti-free market principles to under-price producers in the United States. Vietnam is already one of the world’s largest exporters of textiles and apparel, and Commerce Department data confirms that Vietnam is the second largest supplier of apparel products that have been removed from quota control. Over the past five and a half years, Vietnam has increased its apparel exports by 1,186 percent in quota-free apparel categories. Dole and Graham urged Schwab to closely review all of the possible solutions to this problem and pledged to work closely with her on the issue. “The Carolinas are the heart of our nation’s textile industry… We want to ensure that this strong manufacturing tradition continues and that this industry will offer stable, good-paying jobs to our constituents well into the future,” wrote Dole and Graham. Background On May 31, the United States formalized an agreement that would pave the way for Vietnam to formally join the 149-member World Trade Organization (WTO). Congress must still vote on the WTO accession agreement for Vietnam. ###

Sep 18 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement: “The parties continue to share ideas with each other. Like all negotiations, this is and will continue to be a back-and-forth exchange of thoughts and proposals. I look forward to continuing to work with the White House and my Senate colleagues on addressing this important issue facing our nation. We share the President’s goal of enacting legislation preserving an effective CIA program to make us safe, upholding Geneva Convention protections for our troops, and passing constitutional muster.” #####

Sep 15 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on legislation which passed the Senate Armed Services Committee establishing tribunals for suspected terrorists. Graham voted in support of the legislation which passed the Committee by a vote of 15-9. “First off, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for President Bush and the job he has done leading our nation in the War on Terror. My goal in the tribunal legislation is to ensure the policies we put in place can withstand judicial scrutiny, protect American troops in future conflicts, and live up to the values our nation has adhered to for generations. “A conviction against a terror suspect is no good if it is later overturned by the Supreme Court. We don’t need to resort to bizarre legal theories to convict the terrorists. Frankly, we’ve done a better job of keeping the terrorists out of court than their own lawyers with all the legal challenges which have been upheld by federal courts. “Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, the Administration ought to rely, as much as possible, on what has been tried and true. I would like to put one of these terrorists on trial in my lifetime. On the Legislative Process: “The House of Representatives has moved legislation establishing military tribunals and it is important the Senate act as well. While the Senate Armed Services Committee has passed a version which does not have the full backing of the White House, I will continue to discuss our approach with them. At some point in the future, the House, Senate, and President will have to come to some agreement we can all accept to move the process forward. The Senate Legislation: “The Senate legislation passed today allows the military trials of terrorists to begin, ensures that American troops cannot be sued in federal court by terror suspects in our custody, and establishes a legal framework for continued prosecution of the War on Terror. It also allows the CIA program, supported by the President and me, to continue protecting America. “The CIA program is an important program and our legislation does nothing to stop or impede that program from continued operation. I disagree with any suggestion to the contrary. “I desperately want to hold terrorists accountable for the acts they have committed against the nation on and since 9/11. They need to be brought to justice. However we must ensure we do so in a manner using policies and procedures that can withstand judicial scrutiny. “One area of contention is the use of classified information provided to a terror suspect and what an acquittal in a tribunal would mean. “Generals and Admirals from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have shown us the way to address the issue of classified information using procedures already in military law. Under the Senate proposal, the government does not have to give classified information to the defense. The military judge can order summarized or redacted versions of the classified information to be used at trial. However, as the military lawyers have suggested the accused must be provided the evidence the jury uses to convict. Without such a provision, the trial would fail because of the inability to confront evidence. “There is one other point on which much confusion exists. “Even if a terrorist is acquitted by a military tribunal, that does not mean they will be released from military prison. They remain enemy combatants. The decision to release an enemy combatant is made by the Annual Review Board (ARB), which is already established and in operation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Supreme Court and Geneva Conventions: “The Supreme Court, in a decision I found troubling, decided to apply Geneva Convention protections to the War on Terror. Their decision is binding, but they gave Congress and the Administration wide latitude on its implementation. The Convention has been strongly supported by our nation in every war since the 1940s. It is there to protect our troops and we do not need to withdraw from its terms and conditions to win the current and future wars. Conclusion: “While I agree with President Bush on the vast majority of the provisions in the legislation before the Congress establishing military tribunals, we do have some differences. The 10 percent we disagree on involves significant areas that could determine whether our work product is declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. “If these issues are not resolved in an appropriate manner, we could also place our troops serving abroad in unnecessary jeopardy for future wars. I stand ready, willing and able to bridge the handful of differences we have. I know our American troops, those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in the global War on Terror, are counting on us to get it right this time.” ######