Nov 28 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $400,000 in grants to fire departments in Columbia, Greer, Lancaster, Spartanburg and Union. “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 this competitive grant,” 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 equipment and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities. The grants awarded include: COLUMBIA: The Irmo Fire District will receive $60,480. GREER: The City of Greer Fire Department will receive $51,300. LANCASTER: The Charlotte Road/Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department will receive $39,900. SPARTANBURG: The Croft Fire Department will receive $93,888. The City of Spartanburg Department of Public Safety will receive $79,323. UNION: The Union Public Safety Department will receive $80,101. 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. ####

Nov 20 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Congressman Charlie Rangel’s plan to reintroduce legislation establishing a military draft. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said: “Now is not the time for political stunts. It is time for all Americans to come together to ensure we win the War in Iraq. “Introducing legislation to institute the draft is a serious matter. Any suggestion America would not be fighting the war in Iraq if other people were being sent implies that Americans are not overly concerned about the men and women serving in the all-volunteer force. I strongly disagree with that line of thought. “The all-volunteer force is capable of defending our nation. I believe those who choose to fight the war in Iraq and create a democracy from a dictatorship are making us safer. “There’s no doubt we need more men and women in uniform. I believe with concentrated effort we can grow the all-volunteer force by offering better benefits and pay. The good news is enlistment and retention among those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan is sky high. The people in the military have a sense of purpose and know why they're fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I respect Congressman Rangel’s service to our country, but I disagree with his thoughts on this matter. It’s also worth noting that Mr. Rangel voted against his own legislation to reinstitute the draft in October 2004. It failed in the U.S. House of Representatives 402-2.” ####

Nov 15 2006

Senate Approves Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill

Legislation Contains $56.6 Million for South Carolina Military Construction Projects

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint announced the U.S. Senate has approved the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2007 Military Construction – Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. The legislation includes more than $56 million for military construction projects in South Carolina. “South Carolinians are very proud and very supportive of the military facilities in our state,” said Graham. “They are woven into the fabric of our community and are key components in defending our interests abroad. The projects funded in this bill recognize the contributions South Carolina makes to our military and demonstrates a commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities for our men and women in uniform.” “It is important that we ensure the operational readiness and quality of life for our men and women in uniform and their families,” DeMint said. “These projects in South Carolina are vital to supporting our deployed troops and their loved ones who make enormous sacrifices here at home.” Projects in the bill include: Beaufort
  • $14.92 million to construct a new enlisted dining facility at the Marine Corps Air Station- Beaufort
Charleston
  • $10.2 million to replace the child development center at the Charleston Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter
  • $16 million for a new enlisted dormitory
  • $9.3 million for construction and paving for an aircraft alert facility
  • $6.2 million for an aircraft support equipment shop and storage
The bill must now be approved by a joint House/Senate conference committee and signed into law by the President. ####

Nov 14 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Bamberg Job Corps Center will receive a $3,648,342 grant to construct a new physical fitness building and vocational shop. The project will include the construction of a 17,000 square-foot physical fitness building and a 4,500 square-foot vocational shop, as well as the demolition of three existing buildings. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. ####

Nov 13 2006

WASHINGTON – According to published reports, the Democratic leadership in Congress will begin pushing for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in the coming months. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today said he would oppose such a move and work to defeat such a proposal. “I will adamantly oppose any efforts by a Democrat-controlled Congress to mandate troop withdrawals or set deadlines for withdrawal from Iraq,” said Graham. “To start withdrawing troops would be equivalent to surrendering in the central battle front in the War on Terror. A misguided proposal such as this should hit a wall in the Senate. “This is not the time to withdraw from the fight,” said Graham. “It’s time to recommit ourselves to the moderate forces in Iraq and redouble our efforts to defeat the foreign fighters and insurgents. The terrorists know what is on the line in Iraq. They view Iraq as the central battle front. We must meet the challenge head-on and defeat them.” Graham has supported sending additional troops to Iraq to improve the security situation, enlisting sympathetic nations in the region to take ownership of the outcome and pushing the Iraqi leadership to move quickly to take over control of the country. He has also argued failure in Iraq empowers Iran and will lead to regional chaos. “I do believe we need to push the Iraqi government to disarm the militias and come up with political compromises allowing the country can move forward,” said Graham. “However, nothing can be achieved until the violence is reduced. That should be our goal in the coming months, to provide a better security situation on the ground. “The war in Iraq is front and center in our efforts to win the Global War on Terror,” concluded Graham. “We need to make a World War II-like commitment to winning in Iraq and ensure the American people fully understand what is on the line should we fail.” #####

Nov 12 2006

Tuesday was a bad night for Republicans in Washington. However, if we learn from our mistakes the fortunes of the Republican Party and the nation can quickly improve. Rather than Democrats winning, Republicans lost. Voters didn’t pick a Democratic over Republican agenda. On many fronts, Republicans confused voters about what we stand for. Voters were not happy with the way we conducted ourselves when it comes to spending their hard-earned tax dollars or efforts to ensure we have a successful outcome in the War on Terror. They made it clear we’ve spent too much time talking about problems and not enough solving them. If there’s one lesson to be learned from Tuesday night it is Republicans win when we act like Republicans. We get into trouble when we don’t. Some of our successes such as cutting taxes, appointing conservative Supreme Court and federal court judges, banning partial birth abortion, and class-action and bankruptcy reform were washed away by corruption scandals and fiscally irresponsible behavior. Iraq did play a part. However, we must remember Senator Joe Lieberman was elected as an Independent in a very blue state despite his support for the war. Connecticut voters may have disagreed with his war position but they believe he took a principled stand putting the best interests of the country above political party. Conversely, many Americans believe the Republican majority chose self-interest over the common good. Here’s a roadmap for Republicans to reconnect with voters: * Budget reform and tax simplification are top priorities. We should push for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to rein in Congress’ insatiable spending appetite. We should also seek a two year budget cycle allowing for more spending oversight. * Rein in the runaway practice of congressional earmarks which exploded on our watch. Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere -- a $250 million bridge to benefit 50 people -- is a classic example of how we’ve lost our way. Also, reforming earmarking and debating all budget items in public will deny corrupt lobbyists and politicians the dark corners in which they operate. * Because of President Bush’s tax cuts for families and small business owners, the jobless rate is at a five-year low and 6.8 million new jobs have been added since August of 2003. Our national economy is humming. We must push congressional Democrats to ensure the tax cuts are extended and the benefits of tax relief continue in coming years. * We need to return to Social Security reform. President Bush deserves credit for taking on this issue which must be solved for future generations of Americans. We should put all options on the table including innovation to solve Social Security’s looming bankruptcy. Hopefully, Democrats in the majority will feel the need to be constructive and say more than “NO” to solutions which lead to Social Security solvency. * Solve our immigration problems. Legislation should include better border security, employment verification requirements, punishment for those in the country illegally and a guest worker program. Both amnesty and the idea we are going to deport 12 million people should be rejected as unworkable, impractical solutions. * We must become energy independent. Our reliance on Middle East oil poses a threat to our economy and creates national security concerns as well. Global climate change is real and nuclear energy, hydrogen, and other alternative sources of energy provide us an opportunity to address both national security and environmental concerns. * The War in Iraq is front and center in our efforts to win the global War on Terror. We need to make a World War II commitment to winning in Iraq and ensure the American people fully understand what is on the line should we fail. Unfortunately, we have treated Iraq more as a police action than the central battlefront. * We need more troops on the ground in Iraq to improve the security situation, enlist sympathetic nations in the region to take ownership of the outcome, and push the Iraqi leadership to move quickly to take over control of the country. Failure in Iraq empowers Iran and will lead to regional chaos. * We need another 50,000 troops in the Army and Marine Corps and we must provide them with better benefits. Our soldiers are promoting freedom throughout the world and serving admirably in hot spots like Afghanistan and Iraq. We also have security concerns about dangerous situations in North Korea and Iran. We need more troops in uniform to help relieve pressure on our soldiers being sent overseas on deployment with increasing frequency and for longer periods of time. During difficult times the country deserves bold leadership on tough issues. The Republican Party, if it adjusts and chooses, is capable of providing that leadership. We will be fine in future elections if we return to these core principles. NOTE: This article appeared in South Carolina newspapers beginning Sunday, November 12.

Oct 31 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement in response to comments from Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts). Yesterday Senator Kerry said, “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.” Graham responded: “I very much appreciate Senator Kerry’s service to our nation, but I think it would be appropriate for him to apologize for his comments about our service members in Iraq. “His comments could only be taken as an insult to our military members and their families who have chosen to serve in Iraq. The Armed Forces of 2006 are made up of the brightest, most dedicated young men and women to ever serve our nation. They understand that terrorism has to be fought, not appeased. “These comments are beneath Senator Kerry. I hope he will correct the record.” #####

Oct 24 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on comments made by the U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and General George Casey. Graham said: “I’m not for cutting and running in Iraq. I’m not for a phased withdrawal from Iraq. I’m for winning. “To win in Iraq will require a readjustment of our strategy and for us to show the resolve to finish the job. Iraq has been and continues to be a central front in our efforts to fight and win the War on Terror. If we do not fight and win, we will only embolden the terrorists and terrorist-supporting states such as Syria and Iran. “Osama Bin Laden understands what is on the line in Iraq. He would love nothing more than to see us fail in our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to a Middle Eastern nation. “There’s no doubt we need a better security apparatus in Iraq. “We are on the verge of chaos and the current security plan is not working. If it means we need more American troops on the ground, a position I have long been supportive of, then we need to get it done. “The statements made today by the U.S. Ambassador and General Casey are very encouraging. They understand the security situation is lacking and working with our Iraqi allies, they understand the need to get it right. I’m very encouraged the Iraqi government understands the need to deal with the armed militias. You cannot have democracy where you have armed political parties. “We need to look forward in Iraq. The international community needs to be held to account for what happens there. In fact, we should all be held accountable. A failed state in Iraq is a loss for the whole world. “It is important we do not set artificial timetables for the withdrawal of American troops. This will only serve to embolden our enemies. History will not judge us by when we left Iraq but by what we leave behind.” ######

Oct 20 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the South Carolina Health Insurance Pool will receive a $1,978,624 grant to help offset losses from 2005. The South Carolina Health Insurance Pool allows individuals with serious health problems, who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and can not obtain individual insurance coverage, to purchase insurance through a state administered program. In 2005, approximately 2,200 South Carolinians were enrolled in this plan. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Oct 19 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after the arrival of the Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts to South Carolina. Roberts will visit the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Charleston School of Law. Graham invited Chief Justice Roberts to the law schools and will accompany him throughout the trip. Graham said: “Chief Justice Roberts possesses the best qualities one could hope for in a judge. He has a keen intellect, relies on sound judgment and possesses a fair disposition. I’m honored he would take time out of his busy schedule to visit our law schools and interact with faculty and students. “From my travels throughout the world one thing that is crystal clear to me is that nations with viable, competent and just legal systems are blessed with stability and opportunity. Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, the rule of law is non-existent. The rule of the gun controls society and the result is chaos and a lack of hope. “This visit by the Chief Justice of the United States will long be remembered by the South Carolina legal community. It recognizes our state’s efforts, both at USC and the Charleston School of Law, to train future lawyers and judges for our state and nation.” #####