May 02 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Hemingway will receive an $863,300 grant and a $489,000 loan for water system infrastructure improvements. The funds will be used to extend approximately 15 miles of additional service lines to serve the Brunson Crossroads area just outside of the Town of Hemingway. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

May 02 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Spartanburg will receive a $196,112 grant to aid in solving cold cases with DNA evidence. The Solving Cold Cases with DNA Program was established to search, evaluate, select, and conduct DNA analysis on violent crime cold cases that have the potential to be solved through DNA testing. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Apr 29 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today issued the following statement on President Bush’s call for progressive price indexing of future Social Security benefits. “The President took a bold step toward restoring solvency to Social Security by embracing benefit growth reduction for upper income workers. “The most significant aspect of the decision is the President has chosen to put future benefits, for those born after 1950, on the table for restructuring – an idea rejected by some Republican plans. “With progressive-price indexing changes as part of the President’s solution, the next step is to discuss how to set up a personal account. Setting up personal accounts should be done without changing the structure or purpose of Social Security and have a minimal effect on the deficit. “I applaud my Republican colleagues for being brave in offering solutions. Now it’s time for us to embrace the President’s proposal and understanding that future benefits need to be recalculated. I also urge them to keep an open mind about personal accounts that would be paid for and progressive.” #####

Apr 28 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on David Wilkins, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, being named United States Ambassador to Canada. Graham said: “Canada’s gain is our state’s loss. David Wilkins will be remembered as one of the greatest Speakers of the House in South Carolina history. “President Bush could not have chosen a more effective and talented ambassador to represent the United State’s interests than David Wilkins. “His assignment to Canada, one of our most important diplomatic posts, demonstrates the faith President Bush has in his abilities. It also reflects well on our state that he was chosen for this tremendous opportunity.” #####

Apr 28 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on President Bush and Social Security. “We’re now transitioning from defining the problem to solving the problem. Hard choices await the country but working together in a bipartisan manner we can strengthen Social Security. “Strengthening Social Security is worth political sacrifice. I’m confident the American people will rise to the occasion and do their part to make sure the system is a safety net for future generations. “By embracing progressive price indexing the President has taken a major step forward in the solvency debate and provided leadership that will lead to a permanent solution for Social Security. The rescheduling of benefits through price indexing is an absolutely essential component in saving Social Security from bankruptcy. “The problems facing Social Security can and must be responsibly dealt with soon. The people who elected us to office deserve nothing less.” #####

Apr 27 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Daniel Morgan Rural Community Water District in Gaffney will receive a $519,100 grant and $1,074,000 loan for water infrastructure improvements. "One of the problems our state has in attracting and retaining new business is we sometimes lack the necessary infrastructure," said Graham. "We need to continue working to do more to ensure we have the ability to economically grow and prosper in the coming years." The funds will be used to extend waterlines into unserved areas of the Water District, and replace and upgrade existing waterlines. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Apr 27 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Marco Rural Water Company in Marion will receive a $259,300 grant and $693,000 loan for water line relocation. The funds will be used to relocate 33,722 feet of existing water line along US Highway 501. The relocation is necessary due to South Carolina Department of Transportation construction. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Apr 26 2005

SELECT RESERVISTS CAN NOW SIGN UP FOR TRICARE

Senators Graham & Clinton Pledge to Continue Pushing for Better Benefits for Members of the National Guard and Reserves

WASHINGTON -- Today, the program that U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) helped create to expand access to health care benefits for reservists goes into effect. In October 2004, the Senators worked to pass a provision in the FY 2005 Ronald Reagan Defense Authorization Bill enabling reservists meeting eligibility requirements to enroll in TRICARE, the military health care system. The Senators hailed the expansion of the program today, but emphasized that there is still more work to be done to provide members of the National Guard and Reserves with the health care benefits they deserve. The eligibility requirements allow Guardsmen and Reservists who serve on active duty under federal orders for 90 consecutive days or more to be eligible for one year of TRICARE coverage. For every additional 90 days of service they will be eligible for an additional year of health care coverage. The Department of Defense (DOD) pays approximately 72 percent and the reservist is responsible for the remaining 28 percent. The costs will be $75 per month for the member-only plan or $233 per month for member and family. “This is another step forward in our effort to ensure that every member of the Selected-Reserve and their families have year-round access to military health care,” said Graham, the only U.S. Senator currently serving in a Guard or Reserve unit. “Providing health care will be a tremendous benefit, as almost one-fifth of Guardsmen and Reservists do not have health care in the private sector.” “Today marks an important stride forward in expanding eligibility for TRICARE military health benefits to our Guard members and Reservists and their families,” said Clinton. “But more work needs to be done to ensure that our Guard and Reserve have access to the health care benefits they need and deserve.” Under the old rules, members of the Reserve Component and their families were eligible for TRICARE only while on active duty. “Guardsmen and Reservists are the only part-time federal employees who are currently ineligible for federal government full-time health care benefits,” said Graham. “It’s my goal, in a bipartisan manner, to alleviate this inequity. This program we helped push into law last year takes another step toward that goal.” “When Senator Graham and I visited our troops in Iraq we saw first hand that the role of our Guard and Reserve has changed. They are taking on significant responsibility, playing critically important roles both overseas and in homeland security,” said Clinton. “We need to give them the support they need to be successful and the program being launched today helps move us in that direction.” In February, Graham and Clinton introduced legislation (S.337, The Guard and Reserve Readiness Retention Act of 2005) to further expand healthcare benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves by allowing them to enroll in TRICARE for a monthly premium regardless of their activation status. In addition, the legislation provides for a decrease in retirement age based on years of service. Under current law, the retirement age is 60. Under the proposal, if an individual serves for 22 years, they are eligible for retirement at 59. An individual entering military service at 18 and serving for 34 years could begin receiving his or her retirement benefits at 53. “We’re going to continue pushing for a better benefit package for our citizen-soldiers,” said Graham. “The National Guard and Reserves have been called upon more often to help protect this country and defend American interests. They are playing a vital role in Operation Iraqi Freedom and are an integral part of the war on terrorism. They need to be rewarded and justly compensated for their service to our nation. Our proposal will also help in our recruiting and retention efforts.” “Under our bill, if you are a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you and your family have access to health care,” said Clinton. “We believe this is the right thing to do for our Guard and Reserves and a smart thing to do as we rely on the reserve component to make up a significant part of our military operations.” ######

Apr 25 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the town of Summerton will receive a $2,474,400 grant and $800,000 loan to upgrade and expand the wastewater treatment plant. "One of the problems rural areas of our state have in attracting and retaining new business is sometimes they lack the necessary infrastructure," said Graham. "We need to continue working to do more to ensure the rural areas of our state have the ability to economically grow in the coming years." The plant modifications will include an upgrade of the pump station and the addition of two new lagoons. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Apr 21 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today expressed his support for Representative Rob Portman to serve as the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). He made the following statement: “I was encouraged by Congressman Portman’s testimony and pledge today to address concerns with China. I look forward to working with him to ensure our trade laws are enforced and American manufacturers can compete on a level playing field. “China cheats to gain an unfair advantage on the international market. Congressman Portman expressed his commitment to redirect USTR resources to address this devastating issue. We must take action to protect American jobs and ensure transparency and openness for American goods to enter the Chinese market. Congress also must ensure the office of the USTR has the resources it needs -- including a trade prosecutor -- to enforce laws already on the books. “I look forward to working with Congressman Portman as our trade representative to expand markets for U.S. goods. I hope the Senate considers and approves his nomination as soon as possible.” #####