Oct 17 2006
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was at the White House with a small group of Senators and Representatives flanking the President as he signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. The legislation establishes military tribunals and provides the legal infrastructure to fight and win the War on Terror. “This law will make our nation stronger and the terrorists weaker,” said Graham. “I was proud to stand with President Bush and work with his team, along with other Members of Congress, to pass this historic legislation. It can now be said the executive and legislative branches are on the same sheet of legal music when it comes to detaining and trying terrorist enemy combatants.” Graham noted the major points of the legislation include: • Protecting President Bush’s CIA program for High-Value Targets (HVT) by allowing aggressive interrogation techniques -- classified in nature -- that will continue to yield good information protecting our nation from terrorists. The CIA has the clarity they needed regarding interrogation techniques and for the first time clearly defined what constitutes a ‘grave breach’ of the Geneva Convention. By accomplishing this goal, the CIA can move forward with their program in a manner consistent with our international obligations and our values. • Prohibiting terror suspects and others from suing CIA agents or their families for doing their jobs. • Establishing military tribunals in a manner consistent with our national values. The military tribunal system protects our nation’s secrets in an unprecedented manner while at the same time allowing defendants the ability to confront evidence against them. To do otherwise, would run the serious risk of the Supreme Court rejecting the legislation. Congress and President Bush achieved the correct balance between protecting ourselves in this war without setting precedent that would jeopardize our troops in future wars. • Prevents terror suspects from filing lawsuits in federal court. Federal judges will be allowed to conduct limited review of certain legal issues but will not be able to take over military decisions determining who is and who is not an enemy combatant. “Under the Military Commissions Act, we establish military tribunals in a manner consistent with our national values and demonstrate our nation is rendering justice, not vengeance,” said Graham. “They are modeled after our own court-martial system and I strongly believe the Supreme Court will uphold them. They represent a model of justice during a time of war our nation can be proud of. “Working together Congress and President Bush rose to the occasion and demonstrated it was possible to provide tools to the President, CIA, and military to fight this vicious enemy and do so without abandoning our Geneva Convention obligations or national values,” said Graham. “After four years of legal starts and stops, we can now put terrorists on trial and administer justice.” #####
Oct 13 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the presence of coalition forces in Iraq. “It would be highly irresponsible to withdraw coalition forces from Iraq at this crucial time in the young democracy’s evolution. The popularly elected government is only four months old. Without the presence of coalition forces, insurgents and terrorist organizations trying to destabilize the Iraqi democracy would win the day. All out civil war is likely without a strong coalition presence, and almost certainly would lead to a wider regional conflict. “It is imperative the coalition continue to support this young democracy militarily, allowing the Iraqi police and military to stand up and protect their nation. Withdrawal of coalition forces would be a devastating blow to their efforts. “However, current troop levels seem inadequate to the task of securing parts of Iraq. Instead of withdrawing troops, we should strengthen the coalition presence in unstable areas so a security environment can emerge that will allow for a peaceful, political solution to Iraq’s problems instead of a violent confrontation.” ####
Oct 12 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced jurisdictions throughout South Carolina will receive more than $355,000 dollars to help purchase 2,844 bulletproof vests. “Law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line to protect the public,” said Graham. “We ought to ensure they have the best available equipment to protect themselves as they protect us.” “As protectors of our families and homes, law enforcement officials risk their own safety on a daily basis,” said DeMint. “These men and women are true heroes in our communities and the vests will help keep them safe while in the line of duty.” The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grants provide funding priority to jurisdictions with a population under 100,000. The funds will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of bulletproof vests. Jurisdictions with populations of 100,000 or more are eligible to receive funding with money remaining in the grant fund. Award recipients include: Counties Aiken- $1,389 for 25 vests Beaufort- $22,246 for 301 vests Berkeley- $16,557 for 80 vests Charleston- $16,481 for 223 vests Cherokee- $6,425 for 20 vests Clarendon- $2,445 for 9 vests Dorchester- $7,870 for 30 vests Georgetown- $9,139 for 36 Horry- $9,399 for 200 vests Lancaster- $4,078 for 15 vests Lexington- $4,349 for 76 vests McCormick- $4,730 for 17 vests Newberry- $2,681 for 11 vests Oconee- $15,511 for 26 vests Orangeburg- $6,237 for 25 vests Pickens- $527 for 10 vests Richland- $5,595 for 100 vests Spartanburg- $2,818 for 56 vests Cities Abbeville- $1,391 for 5 vests Aiken- $1,113 for 4 vests Aynor- $475 for 2 vests Barnwell- $2,650 for 10 vests Beaufort- $4,134 for 15 vests Belton- $1,757 for 6 vests Burnettown- $2,692 for 8 vests Calhoun Falls- $2,519 for 8 vests Cayce- $2,105 for 10 vests Charleston- $10,882 for 40 vests Clinton- $10,070 for 8 vests Columbia- $15,649 for 235 vests Conway- $5,290 for 20 vests Duncan- $1,353 for 5 vests Easley- $14,328 for 42 vests Folly Beach- $528 for 2 vests Goose Creek- $6,300 for 18 vests Greenville- $1,288 for 5 vests Greenwood- $11,594 for 53 vests Irmo- $1,328 for 5 vests Lamar- $1,590 for 6 vests Lancaster- $4,224 for 13 vests Lexington- $900 for 4 vests Manning- $1,732 for 5 vests Mt. Pleasant- $4,968 for 17 vests Newberry- $959 for 5 vests North Augusta- $6,238 for 22 vests North Charleston- $14,375 for 50 vests North- $654 for 2 vests Orangeburg- $3,214 for 14 vests Pamplico- $874 for 3 vests Port Royal- $3,040 for 12 vests Simpsonville- $1,812 for 6 vests Spartanburg- $6,575 for 25 vests St. Matthews- $2,438 for 10 vests Sumter- $6,762 for 25 vests Surfside Beach- $2,320 for 8 vests Travelers Rest- $1,554 for 6 vests Walhalla- $3,339 for 12 vests Walterboro- $3,756 for 8 vests West Columbia- $2,525 for 10 vests Other Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport- $7,000 for 20 vests State of South Carolina- $39,187 for 800 vests The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####
Oct 09 2006
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on reports of a North Korea nuclear test. Graham said: “The worst thing that could now happen is for the international community to be all talk and no action when it comes to North Korea. “We must work together with our allies in the region to contain the threat posed by North Korea. That includes passing sanctions at the United Nations that have bite. We also should push forward on a missile defense system capable of intercepting a rocket launch and stopping the proliferation of nuclear technology or materials from North Korea. Their track record when it comes to proliferation of weapons technology is downright frightening. “Hopefully the international community will realize that rogue regimes bent on acquiring nuclear weapons must be forcefully dealt with before it’s too late. Iran, with its own international ambitions, is closely studying how we deal with North Korea. Hollow threats will be seen by rogue regimes like Iran as a green light for their nuclear ambitions.” #####
Oct 04 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $1.8 million in grants to fire departments in Batesburg, Blacksburg, Clover, Heath Springs, Holly Hill, Honea Path, Lancaster, Marietta, Moncks Corner, Nichols, Ridgeville, Seneca, Sheldon, Springfield, Una, Walhalla, and Woodruff. “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.” “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 grants were awarded in one of two program areas:
- Operations and Firefighter Safety Program: The funds 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.
- Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used for the purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.
Oct 04 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in South Carolina will receive $8 million to help support national security and nonproliferation missions. “Nuclear security and reducing the threat of global terrorism are vitally important to protecting and defending our national interests,” said Graham. “I am proud that South Carolina’s HBCU’s are taking a leading role in preparing the next generation of professionals in these fields.” "This is a great opportunity to draw more students from South Carolina into scientific fields that are vital to national security and our state's HBCU's will be out front recruiting these students," said DeMint. The goal of the program is to increase the number of minority students pursuing science and technology careers. The grants will help establish a partnership with the next generation of creative and committed leaders who will assist the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in meeting its national security demands. The grants will also help to attract minority graduates for employment within NNSA. Award recipients include: Allen University- $4,000,000 Create Science Research Infrastructure for Allen University to Promote and Implement NNSA Science Research Initiatives with High School and Undergraduate Students Claflin University- $2,000,000 Program for the Preparation of a Technologically Literate Science Workforce to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century South Carolina State University- $1,000,000 Enhancement of Research, Environmental Management, and Science Curriculum Voorhees College- $1,000,000 Lighting the Way Part II: Securing Our Future The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. ####
Oct 02 2006
Department of Justice Releases $11.5 Million for Seahawk Operations
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON -- It has been a productive week for the future of port security and Project Seahawk at the Port of Charleston. Last week, the U.S. Congress passed legislation, the SAFE Port Act, calling for the establishment of interagency port security centers modeled on Project Seahawk at every high-priority port in the United States within the next three years. Closer to home, the Department of Justice has agreed to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) request for the Department to release an additional $11.5 million in funding for continued operation of Project Seahawk at the Port of Charleston. The funding will sustain Seahawk operations for at least the next twelve months. “Project Seahawk is now the national model for port security,” said Graham. “We have had a productive few weeks when it comes to port security and Project Seahawk. With the strong collaborative support of Representative Henry Brown in the House we also have been able to have funding released from the Department of Justice which will help Seahawk continue operations at the port. Port security has been a weak link in our homeland security efforts. I’m glad to see we continue to take steps to ensure that we can protect ports in South Carolina and across the nation.” Graham noted the SAFE Port Act contains language he authored that establishes interagency operational centers for port security throughout the country. The “Seahawk Centers” would be run by the Coast Guard and include the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and other federal agencies. State and local law enforcement, first responders, port authority or maritime exchange representatives would also be included in the joint operations. “The innovation and cooperation practiced at the Port of Charleston serves our state and nation well,” said Graham. “Project Seahawk is the answer to a very serious problem and I am pleased that we will put this innovative program into use across the nation. I’m very proud of the work being done in South Carolina to protect the port. This legislation will not only help keep Project Seahawk operating in Charleston, but it will help improve our port security operations across the nation.” “I, along with Representative Brown, will remain tireless advocates for Project Seahawk and national port security efforts,” said Graham. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days. ####
Oct 02 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved H.R. 5546, a bill to designate the Federal courthouse to be constructed in Greenville, South Carolina, as the “Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. U.S. Courthouse.” The legislation passed the U.S. House last Wednesday, and is now sent to President Bush for his signature. “I’m proud the Senate paid tribute to a man whose distinguished service as both governor and congressman helped usher in a new era of purpose and prosperity for the Palmetto State. Carroll and Iris were good friends and mentors to Debbie and me when I entered Congress. He never passed my office without stopping in to say hello and offer a well-timed word of advice. Carroll was an optimist and a visionary, and the building that will bear his name will not only serve as a gateway to Greenville but to all that is possible in South Carolina” said Senator Jim DeMint. “This is a fitting tribute to one of South Carolina’s most distinguished sons,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. “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. 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.” “Carroll Campbell set the standard for what it means to be an effective congressman and governor,” Inglis said. “I often think, 'What would Gov. Campbell have done in this situation.' There's a whole generation of us who grew up into politics, looking to him as a guide.” The Senate legislation was sponsored by Senators DeMint and Graham. The U.S. House legislation was cosponsored by all members of the South Carolina delegation. ###
Sep 30 2006
Continues Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) last night voted in support of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 which passed the Senate by a vote of 80-19. The legislation already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will be sent to President Bush who has said he will sign the measure into law. “The first issue to address in immigration reform is border security,” said Graham. “Without strong physical border security no immigration reform will be successful in stopping the flood of illegal crossings. The porous nature of our border doesn’t just pose immigration problems, but national security ones as well.” “Unfortunately, additional fencing by itself does not address all our immigration problems,” continued Graham. “Nearly half of the illegal immigrants in the United States today never illegally crossed the border. They came to the United States as tourists, students or workers and never left. In many cases, they have obtained employment using fraudulent documents which put employers in the no-win situation of determining whether they can legally work in the United States.” Graham noted that immigration is about jobs and that as a nation we must better control who gets them. This can be accomplished by creating of a guest worker program and instituting a worker verification system that lets employers know whether a job applicant can legally work in the United States. The Senate immigration bill created a tamper-proof biometric worker verification card which would be issued to guest workers. The card would enable employers to differentiate between legal and illegal workers before hiring them. It also authorized the hiring of 5,000 new interior enforcement investigators over the next five years to uphold our employment laws. “President Bush and I continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Graham. ““It’s time for our nation to have a permanent, not partial, solution to illegal immigration.” #####
Sep 29 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate passed the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act and the Southern Campaign of the Revolution Heritage Area Study Act. The legislation has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will now be sent to President Bush for his signature. The purpose of the Gullah/Geechee heritage corridor is to:
- Recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history by African-Americans known as the Gullah/Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina and Georgia.
- Assist state and local governments and public and private entities in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida in interpreting the story of the Gullah/Geechee and preserving Gullah/Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music.
- Assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah/Geechee for the benefit and education of the public.
- Directs the Secretary of the Interior to study and report on the suitability and feasibility of designating specified South Carolina counties, cities, and public sites as the Southern Campaign of the Revolution Heritage Area.