Oct 17 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Old Exchange Commission in Charleston will receive a $250,000 grant and the Historic Beaufort Foundation will receive $230,000. The Old Exchange Commission will use the funds to support the repair of cracked and delaminated stucco and masonry at the Old Exchange and Provost. The Historic Beaufort Foundation will use the funds to repair damaged exterior stucco at the Beaufort Arsenal. The Save America’s Treasures grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service. #####

Oct 15 2005

Aside from fighting the War on Terror, President Bush’s appointment of judges to the federal bench -- including two Supreme Court justices -- will be the defining legacy of his time in office. Like President Bush, I want judges who make good decisions based upon the law as written. I don’t want them to make new laws or take the law into their own hands. That role should be left to elected representatives in Congress and the President. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the past three years, I’ve had a front-row seat in the confirmation process of judges and I’m very concerned about what I see happening. The Senate seems to be getting away from judging a nominee’s experience, ethics, character, temperament and qualifications. We increasingly want to administer political allegiance tests to judicial nominees. This new standard wants potential judges to agree with a Senators values and beliefs in return for a vote for confirmation. The Senate didn’t always operate this way. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative nominated by former President Reagan, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a liberal nominated by former President Clinton, are both examples of nominees who were qualified for their positions and received overwhelming votes (98 for Scalia, 96 for Ginsberg) -- even though may Senators did not agree with their legal philosophies. A prime example of our new standard was the recent confirmation of John Roberts as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. There’s no doubt President Bush chose wisely when he nominated him for the position as Roberts was a well-qualified nominee who may be the best legal mind in the country today. However I was greatly concerned by the fact he did not receive an overwhelming, near-unanimous vote in the Judiciary Committee (13-5) or on the Senate floor (78-22) like previous nominees. What was equally disturbing was some of the comments made by Senators who voted against him. He was called “incredible, probably one of the most schooled appellate lawyers at least in his generation,” “well qualified, well-spoken, unflappable,” “an outstanding lawyer, well educated and serious,” “obviously qualified in his legal education and litigation experience,” “Earnest, incredibly intelligent, a superb lawyer,” “brilliant, accomplished,” and “a judge who will be loyal and faithful to the process of law.” If being intelligent, brilliant, a superb lawyer, the greatest legal mind of your generation, personally decent and well qualified for the position is not enough then what is? There’s no doubt this new standard some Senators are adopting is bad for the judiciary and will prove to be bad for the country.

Oct 11 2005

Senate Approves $79 Million for South Carolina Military Construction Projects

South Carolina National Guard Readiness Center in Charleston to Receive Nearly $10.3 Million

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint secured more than $79 million for military construction projects in South Carolina in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2006 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. “As we have recently witnessed, the men and women of our armed forces have a dual role in protecting this nation,” said Graham. “They defend our interests abroad and are called upon to respond in times of crisis at home. The projects funded in this bill recognize the dual nature of our military and demonstrate a commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities for training and medical care.” "South Carolina is the best place in the nation for the military to live, train, and support our global war on terror and this bill helps ensure we continue this tradition," said Senator DeMint. "Our men and women in uniform risk their lives to protect us, and they deserve our highest support." The bill provides $10,298,000 for the South Carolina National Guard Readiness Center in Charleston. This project will be constructed in partnership with The Citadel and will be located on its campus. The Center will serve as the headquarters of the 218th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) and will serve as an emergency operations center in the event of a hurricane or flood. The Citadel will contribute 25 percent of the total project cost. Other projects in the bill include:
  • $35,000,000 for a consolidated medical clinic in Charleston.
  • $15,524,000 for the Army Reserve Center in Greenville.
  • $9,730,000 for the U.S. Central Command Air Forces Communications Squadron Facility at Shaw Air Force Base.
  • $6,424,000 for the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Charleston.
  • $2,583,000 for the fitness center at Charleston Air Force Base.
The bill must now be approved by a joint House/Senate conference committee and signed into law by the President. ####

Oct 06 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)’s amendment to the defense spending bill passed the Senate late last night. The amendment passed by unanimous consent. “The United States desperately needs effective detention and interrogation policies,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We need good intelligence and we need to keep terrorists off the battlefield. I’m confident we can do this while living up to the high standards we have always adhered to as a nation.” The major provisions of the Graham amendment include: The President would be required to submit to Congress the procedures for the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) and the Annual Review Board (ARB) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). The CSRT is the tribunal that determines whether a detainee is an unlawful enemy combatant. The ARB reviews the combatant’s status on an annual basis to determine if the individual is an enemy combatant, still holds intelligence value and/or, still presents a threat to the United States. The amendment requires the president to make two changes to current procedures. First, the Designated Civilian Official responsible for overseeing detainees in U.S. custody would require Senate confirmation. Second, the CSRT and ARB may not consider statements obtained with undue coercion when determining the status of a detainee. The president is also given flexibility to update CSRT and ARB procedures by giving Congress 30 days notice. “We must have procedures in place at Gitmo that will keep terrorists off the battlefield as long as necessary to protect our nation,” said Graham. “Without congressional authority we run a real risk a federal court will either take over or impede our efforts at Gitmo. We are winning in some courts and losing in others. I firmly believe the Executive branch will fair better in court now that Congress has given guidance regarding the operations at Gitmo.” “My amendment reforms and legitimizes the current system in use at Gitmo,” said Graham. “It bolsters the case in federal court that enemy combatant status is a proper and legal term. It also strengthens the legal case that conferring enemy combatant status on terrorists is a recognized legal concept.” Graham’s amendment, along with one introduced by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), were both approved last night by the Senate. The McCain amendment, which passed 90-9, requires interrogation procedures to be followed as outlined in the Army Field Manual and prohibits the use of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of anyone in military custody. “We’re trying to create certainty from chaos,” said Graham. “The amendments give guidance to our troops to ensure they don’t get into legal trouble while detaining and interrogating terrorists. The McCain amendment will be invaluable in assisting our own troops in understanding the policies of interrogation. I firmly believe the confusion created in the past will be resolved by using the Army Field Manual as the standardized method of interrogating enemy combatants.” “Our troops will have guidance as to what the rules are and hopefully it will provide them protection when carrying out their duties when interrogating enemy combatants,” said Graham. “We don’t want our troops to run afoul of the law inadvertently.” #####

Oct 05 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $325,000 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.” 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: Latta Dillon County Fire Department Area 2 will receive $74,052. Liberty Walker McEmoyle Fire Department will receive $94,150. North Charleston City of North Charleston Fire Department will receive $67,528. Spartanburg City of Spartanburg Public Safety Department will receive $90,666. 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. ####

Oct 05 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Talatha Rural Community Water District and the City of New Ellenton will receive a $1,517,511 grant for water and sewer infrastructure improvements. The funds will be used to construct a new well, a 600,000-gallon elevated water tank, 4,000 linear feet of 12-inch water line, and 8,000 linear feet of gravity sewer line. The improvements will serve a manufacturing facility. “Adequate infrastructure is a major factor in future economic development,” said Graham. “This is an investment in the community and will have an impact for years to come.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. ####

Oct 03 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) will receive $9,820,650 for construction of the Hollings Cancer Center. “Cancer is the second leading cause of death in South Carolina, and MUSC is on the cutting edge of cancer prevention, detection, and treatment,” said Graham. “This facility will allow MUSC to better serve our state and help many of our citizens battling cancer.” The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Graham noted that earlier this year he secured $8 million for the Hollings Cancer Center in the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. That bill has been approved by the Senate and must now be approved by a joint House/Senate conference committee. ####

Oct 03 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced four school districts in South Carolina will receive more than $625,000 in grant money to help develop emergency response plans in schools. The funds will be used to improve and strengthen school emergency response and crisis management plans. Recipients must address all four phases of crisis response planning: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. In addition, grant recipients must provide training to school personnel and students, coordinate with local law enforcement, have a plan for communicating policies and procedures to parents, and take into consideration the needs of disabled students. Grant recipients include:
  • Fairfield County School District- $100,000
  • Georgetown County School District- $245,449
  • Lexington and Richland Counties School District Five- $147,927
  • Rock Hill School District Three- $132,371
  • The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Oct 03 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the University of South Carolina (USC) will receive more than $2.2 million dollars in grants to support health care and medical research programs. Grants awarded include:
  • $1,585,298 to support efforts to eliminate disparities in health care.
  • $329,871 for drug abuse research.
  • $295,387 for genomics and biomedical research.
All grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Oct 03 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on President Bush’s selection of Harriet Miers to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “President Bush has made a solid pick for the Supreme Court. “Harriet Miers has been in the legal trenches throughout her career and has a tremendous understanding of how the law works in people’s everyday lives. Her legal experience combined with her life experience makes her a solid choice. “I hope for and anticipate a smooth confirmation process with a significant bipartisan vote in support. In my opinion, there will be no filibuster as she is a mainstream conservative who will be a strict constructionist on the Supreme Court. “I expect the liberal left to make demands upon the Administration to produce information protected by attorney-client privilege. Efforts such as these to derail a qualified nominee like Miers should fail.” ####