May 15 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he supports the temporary use of National Guard troops to help secure our nation’s southern border. Graham is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Personnel of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“As a short-term measure, I support the use of National Guard troops at the border,” said Graham. “The Guard can act as a force multiplier freeing up more Border Patrol agents to pursue and apprehend those illegally crossing into the United States. This use of the Guard, on a temporary basis, makes sense and will be a shot in the arm to our border security efforts.”

“However, putting National Guard troops at the border is not a long-term strategy,” said Graham. “It should only be used until we can get an expanded Border Patrol up and running. An expanded Border Patrol, along with the use of additional fences, walls, and technology, are key ingredients in regaining control of our broken southern border.”

Graham noted the compromise immigration reform bill before the Senate authorizes the hiring of an additional 12,000 Border Patrol agents over the next five years. The compromise also calls for the building of fences and walls in certain high-traffic areas to prevent illegal crossings. In other areas, a ‘virtual’ fence relying on cameras, motion detectors, and other technological devices will be created.

Graham also authored a provision, accepted in committee, which gets more individuals with military backgrounds into the Border Patrol. Due to modernization, in the coming years we’re expected to have a reduced number of people serving in some areas of the military. These veterans, with years of military experience and training, are excellent candidates to serve in our expanded Border Patrol.

“Protecting the border is basically a law enforcement function,” said Graham. “While we do have military police units in the Guard, many of them have been activated several times in the War on Terror. I worry the Guard doesn’t have the manpower to handle a long-term deployment protecting the border.

“The Guard is already on call to assist with future hurricane relief efforts and would be needed if another terrorist attack occurred on American soil,” said Graham. “If this mission were to last more than eighteen to twenty-four months, we could end up doing more harm than good by making it more difficult to recruit and retain Guard members.”

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May 15 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Genetics Endowment of South Carolina, Inc., in Greenwood will receive a $370,000 grant for infrastructure improvements. The funds will be used to help build roadway and storm-water infrastructure for the development of a 189-acre technology park that will serve new private technology and research development firms locating in Greenwood. According to figures supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the investment will help attract $12 million in private investment and create 43 jobs for local citizens. “This is an investment in the future,” said Graham. “Infrastructure improvements are a vital part of competing for future business recruitment and economic development opportunities.” “This investment will take advantage of the competitive strengths of South Carolina’s marketplace and increase the number of high-skill employment opportunities in our state,” said Graham. “I appreciate the leadership of President Bush and Secretary Gutierrez in helping America’s communities grow their economies and enable our workforce.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. ####

May 12 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced $1.2 million in brownfield grants for Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Rock Hill. Brownfield grants promote the redevelopment of abandoned and contaminated or potentially contaminated industrial and commercial waste sites. Columbia The City of Columbia will receive a $200,000 hazardous substances grant to conduct public involvement activities, inventory sites, perform environmental site assessments, monitor resident health, and develop cleanup and redevelopment plans for affected neighborhoods in the city’s Empowerment Zone. The city will also receive a $200,000 petroleum grant to perform similar tasks at sites with potential petroleum contamination, especially in the East Central City and Eau Claire/North Columbia communities. Florence The City of Florence will receive a $200,000 hazardous substances grant to conduct community outreach, perform environmental site assessments, and develop cleanup and redevelopment plans for a 20-acre area known as the Triangle. The city will also receive a $200,000 grant to clean up hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum contamination at the former Bush Recycling site. Greenville The City of Greenville will receive a $200,000 hazardous substance grant to support health monitoring activities, conduct community outreach, perform environmental site assessments, and develop cleanup and redevelopment plans in the West Greenville/Reedy River corridor. Rock Hill The Catawba Regional Council of Governments will receive a $200,000 hazardous substances grant to inventory and prioritize brownfield sites, conduct community outreach, perform environmental site assessments, and develop reuse plans for sites in the urban core of Rock Hill. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ####

May 12 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on President Bush’s decision to address the nation on immigration reform and upcoming Senate debate. Bush is scheduled to address the nation on Monday and Senate debate will begin next week. Graham said: “Like most Americans I anxiously await the President’s speech on immigration. President Bush deserves credit for making this issue part of the national debate. With his leadership, I think we can pass comprehensive immigration reform into law this year. I also strongly believe the President’s recent Oval Office meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators helped create a climate to move immigration reform forward. “Senator Frist also deserves credit for his work on this issue. We have broken borders, unworkable laws, and an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. The fact the Senate is able to bring such a controversial piece of legislation to the floor is a testament to the work done by Senator Frist. The process he helped negotiate should be fair to all with adequate opportunity for amendments and debate. “It’s now time for the Senate to speak on immigration reform.” #####

May 11 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the Treasury report saying China is not a manipulator of its currency. “The continued practice of the Chinese manipulating their currency is devastating to American manufacturers. We had good meetings with the Chinese on our visit in March, but if that's mistaken for an abandonment of the issue that would be a mistake on their part. “We’ll see what happens between now and the end of September. But if the yuan does not appreciate in a significant manner between now and then, we’ll have a vote on our bill. If it comes to a vote, I think we’ll get more than the 67 votes we received in April 2005.” Graham, along with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation allowing for a 180-day negotiation period between the United States and China on currency revaluation. If the negotiations are not successful, a temporary across the board tariff of 27.5 percent will be applied to all Chinese products entering the United States. The bill received 67 votes in April 2005 on a procedural motion. The Senators reserve the right to call it up for a Senate vote on passage before September 30, 2006. #####

May 11 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today released the following joint statement regarding the unanimous consent agreement to bring comprehensive immigration reform legislation back to the Senate floor Monday: “Under the unanimous consent agreement reached today, the Senate will resume the immigration debate next week. Senate Republicans are united in their commitment to an open and full debate on multiple amendments -- just as we have done on other bills of this magnitude like bankruptcy and class action reform. “We are willing to put differences aside so we can get on with the important work to be done securing our borders and grappling with the 12 million illegal immigrants currently living in our country. We are also in agreement that efforts to curtail the debate prematurely will only derail this process. We call on Senate Democrats to allow an open debate and votes on this complex and challenging issue.” ###

May 11 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate creating the H-Prize. The H-Prize is meant to help overcome the technical challenges related to using hydrogen as a widely available and abundant fuel source by offering cash incentives. “As a nation, we need to become less dependent on foreign oil,” said Graham. “It would be irresponsible if 50 years from now we’re still reliant on Middle Eastern oil to drive our national economy. We need to get away from fossil fuels and start looking at using different sources of energy such as hydrogen. The H-Prize will help foster additional research and development in the long-overdue effort to make hydrogen a significant source of our nation’s energy supply.” Graham serves as the co-chair of the Senate Hydrogen Caucus, along with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND). Dorgan has signed on as the lead Democratic sponsor of the H-Prize legislation in the Senate. “Prices at the gas pump make plain that when it comes to how we use energy ‘yesterday forever’ is not a strategy that works very well,” said Dorgan. “While fossil fuels will always be a part of our energy mix, developing new domestic sources of energy is more important today than it has ever been. The H-Award will provide a powerful incentive for research and advancement in one of the most promising new areas on the horizon – developing hydrogen fuel cells and making them an integral part of our economy.” Graham noted South Carolina is a national leader in hydrogen research. The University of South Carolina is developing hydrogen fuel cells, Clemson is working on hydrogen vehicles, Aiken County has established a Hydrogen Research Center, and the Savannah River Site is a leading research facility in hydrogen storage and technology. These groups and others recently united behind the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association which coordinates the state’s efforts to be a leading player in the emerging hydrogen economy. The H-Prize is modeled on the Ansari X Prize which last year spurred the first privately funded suborbital human spaceflight. Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation by U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) creating the H-Prize. Awards will be offered in the following categories: Technological Advancement: Four prizes of up to $1 million will be awarded every two years for outstanding achievements in the Production, Storage, Distribution, and Utilization of hydrogen. Prototypes: One prize of up to $4 million will be awarded every two years for working hydrogen vehicle prototypes that meets performance goals. Transformational Technology: Over the next ten years, a single $10 million prize funded by the federal government or private donations for breakthrough hydrogen technologies. The legislation directs the Secretary of Energy to contract with a private foundation or other non-profit entity to establish criteria for the prizes and administer the prize contest. “Hydrogen holds tremendous promise for the future,” said Graham. “The H-Prize is an important step forward in the drive to help our nation become energy independent. I’m proud to be part of this effort in the Senate and appreciate the work done by Congressmen Inglis and Lipinski in creating incentives for the private sector to create hydrogen-based vehicles. The H-Prize is a clear signal from the federal government that we are interested and believe in a hydrogen-based transportation economy. The H-Prize puts our money where our mouth is.” “I’m proud to be the lead Senate co-sponsor of legislation that will spark research and development that can take us to a more secure and stable energy future,” concluded Dorgan. The passage into law last year of the Energy Bill contained more than $3.5 billion in funding over the next 5 years for hydrogen research. The hydrogen provisions in the bill were largely based upon language authored by Graham and Dorgan. #####

May 11 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of $70 billion in tax relief over the next five years. The measure passed the Senate 54-44. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and President Bush is expected to sign it into law. Graham made this statement after the Senate vote. “I firmly believe our tax cutting policies over the past few years are a major reason our national economy is performing so well. Tax relief helped create one of the strongest economic expansions in years and a national unemployment rate below 5 percent. Also, since the first Bush tax cuts were enacted, revenues to the federal treasury have gone up. “Our latest extension of tax relief will also be helpful in continuing to push our economy forward. I enthusiastically supported today’s tax stimulus package and look forward to President Bush signing it into law. “Unfortunately, many of our Democratic friends have opposed us in our tax cutting efforts at every turn. If the Democrats were in charge, nothing would have changed and Americans would still be paying higher taxes.” #####

May 09 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Hillary Clinton (D-New York), co-Chairs of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, today hosted a roundtable discussion about the future of the defense industry in a global economy. The discussion included companies from New York and South Carolina and experts in defense manufacturing. Graham and Clinton co-founded the Manufacturing Caucus to promote the interests of domestic manufacturing and create a dialogue between industry leaders and Members of Congress. As our nation faces the new and different challenges of the 21st century, the United States must develop a thoughtful policy that both secures our domestic industrial base and enhances the economic benefits provided by foreign employers and consumers. “It’s now time for Republicans and Democrats to join together to strengthen the manufacturing sector and take steps to create a better business environment to ensure our soldiers and sailors have the equipment they need to carry out their mission,” said Graham. “The caucus explores all aspects of the manufacturing sector with the ultimate goal of restoring this vital part of our economy. To improve the manufacturing climate in our state and nation, we’ll have to work together. Honest and informative discussions between Members of Congress and industry leaders are a step in the right direction.” “A strong manufacturing base is important in order to keep our economy and middle class strong, but it’s also important to support our national security,” said Senator Clinton. “In the post-9/11 world, it is time for a reexamination of what we need and should expect from our defense industrial base. We face critical questions about how we maintain the capacity to produce components needed for our national defense and today’s discussion was an important start to addressing them.” Participants included: Dr. Loren Thompson, COO, Lexington Institute; John Douglass, President and CEO, Aerospace Industry Association; Hon. Dave McCurdy, President and CEO, Electronic Industries Alliance, and former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Bob Roberts, President & CEO, Syracuse Research Corporation; Dr. Brian Dailey, Senior VP, Lockheed Martin; Steve Evered, Director of Government Affairs, Michelin North America, Inc.; and, Mike Aldrich, Vice President, Force Protection, Inc. ####

May 08 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Lancaster County will receive a $589,950 grant for improvements at Lancaster County-McWhirter Field. The funds will be used to rehabilitate the apron. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####