Apr 28 2006

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham announced today a Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant totaling nearly $5 million to the Alligator Rural Water and Sewer Company in the city of Chesterfield. “These funds are a key resource to rural communities who cannot fully absorb the costs of developing these systems,” said Senator DeMint. “I applaud those involved for their efforts to secure the necessary local support to pursue these funds.” “The funds for this project will help provide a safe and dependable water supply for residents of the area,” said Graham. “Key infrastructure improvements like this help with future development and I hope this pays dividends for years to come. I’m optimistic and encouraged about the impact this project will have on the future of the community.” The funds come in the form of a $2,139,300 grant and a $2,784,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The USDA Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural and other cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their member services and provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs. “I want to thank Senators Graham and DeMint for their hard work and dedication to the rural areas of South Carolina,” said Tee Miller South Carolina State Director for USDA Rural Development. The Rural Development funds will be used to construct a new deep well, a 1,000 gpm booster pump station, a 1,500,000 gallon storage tank, approximately 32,700 ft. of water line, and related appurtenance. The project will tie into Alligator’s existing system and will increase Alligator’s pumping and transmission capacity. This project will provide an adequate source of water both in quality and quantity, to over 85% of the residents of Chesterfield County. Approximately 36,000 Chesterfield County residents will benefit from this project. ###

Apr 26 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Williamsburg County will receive a $1,724,300 grant and a $2,102,000 loan for water infrastructure improvements. The funds will be used to install approximately 25 miles of water distribution lines in the South Williamsburg area. “The area has been identified by the Department of Health and Environmental Control as an environmentally distressed area,” said Graham. “The funds for this project will help provide a safe and dependable water supply for residents of the area. Key infrastructure improvements like this help with future development and I hope this pays dividends for years to come. I’m optimistic and encouraged about the impact this project will have on the future of the community.” The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. “USDA Rural Development is committed to the future of South Carolina’s rural communities,” said Tee Miller, South Carolina State Director of USDA Rural Development. “The infrastructure built with these funds is an investment in the future of Williamsburg County." ####

Apr 26 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Abbeville County Memorial Hospital will receive a $180,000 grant to support rural health network development. The hospital is partnering with Lakelands Rural Health Network to develop a collaborative, economically viable health network to improve the quality of care in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, McCormick, and Saluda counties. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Apr 25 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the town of Lake View will receive an $842,900 grant and a $1,161,000 loan for improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment facility. The funds will be used for an intermittent sand filter, a chlorine contact tank, an effluent pumping station, and a 33 acre spray field. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Apr 25 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today met with President Bush at the White House to discuss immigration reform. Graham was part of a bipartisan delegation of Senators. Graham said: “After our meeting, I deeply believe President Bush would like immigration reform to be part of his legacy. As a former border state governor, President Bush is well-versed on the nature of the problem and the need to address it in a comprehensive manner. He also understands the basic fact that it is impractical to deport and physically remove all 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. “During our meeting, President Bush reaffirmed his position that allowing illegal immigrants to jump in front of someone pursuing legal status would be wrong. I agree with the President and the bipartisan compromise bill we negotiated in the Senate does not allow illegal immigrants to jump to the front of the line. “Immigration reform is one of the most complex and important matters facing our nation. With presidential leadership on this difficult issue, I think we can pass comprehensive immigration reform into law. “I’m convinced the President will do everything in his power to pass immigration reform that secures our border, reforms our employment laws, and fairly deals with the 11 million people here illegally. “I hope the Senate will again take up this most important issue in the near future.” #####

Apr 12 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on reports that Iran has enriched uranium. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The recent news that Iran has enriched uranium is very disturbing. There is nothing worse – short of Al-Qaeda having a nuclear bomb – than Iran having a nuclear bomb. “We know the President of Iran is a dangerous man. He has threatened to destroy Israel and continues to deny the Holocaust ever happened. Based upon his words and past actions, I’m very concerned that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon they would use it to attack Israel. “I agree with President Bush that a nuclear-armed Iran is a danger to the security of the Middle East and the world. I hope we can solve this problem through diplomacy. However, we must ensure that all options remain on the table.” #####

Apr 07 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the South Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $609,700 grant to aid in strengthening the state’s juvenile justice system. The money was awarded through the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program. The JABG program helps states and local governments improve their juvenile justice systems. Awards are made to each state based on the population of youth under the age of eighteen. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Apr 07 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Rock Hill will receive a $175,000 grant to support the Weed and Seed program. Weed and Seed aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in ‘weeding out’ criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and ‘seeding’ brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. This is the first award for the Rock Hill program. During this project period program goals include: sanctioning individuals involved in violent crime; restoring a sense of safety to the community; establishing multi-jurisdictional teams to identify youth gang activity; providing opportunities for offenders to participate in community programs; offering youth alternatives to gang life and criminal activity by engaging them in educational and job training programs; and, revitalize areas of Rock Hill by restoring existing housing stock, encouraging the expansion of home ownership programs, and promoting diverse neighborhoods that are well maintained. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Apr 07 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) discussed immigration reform being voted down this morning in the Senate. Graham said the agreement fell apart because Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) placed unprecedented conditions on Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). “Today, we missed a golden opportunity to get a handle on the real and serious immigration problems facing our nation by failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “Our borders are clearly broken. The Senate’s inaction means we’re going to be delayed in our effort to build more fences at the border, hire additional Border Patrol agents, and hire more Customs officials to ensure those working in the United States are here legally. We’ll also be delayed in our efforts to get a handle on the eleven million illegal immigrants already in the United States. “The blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid. We had a compromise that would have secured an overwhelming vote in the Senate. But Reid decided he would procedurally kill the bill. “The Minority Leader demanded only three amendments be offered on the Senate floor. That’s against the precedent of the Senate and simply not fair to our colleagues. The American people deserve to have their voices heard, through a reasonable number of amendments, on one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the body. “Reid’s further insistence that Senators outside the Judiciary Committee not be allowed to offer amendments and the naming of conferees before we passed a bill was unfair and does great damage to the customs of the Senate. I’m extremely disappointed with Democrat Minority Leader Reid for destroying the ability to get bipartisan compromise. The blame lies at his feet. “The demands made on the Republican Leader by Minority Leader Reid were ridiculous. Like President Bush and a majority of Senators, I am for a comprehensive solution to immigration reform. “I hope President Bush will continue to push the Senate to pass comprehensive reform and I hope the Senate will soon return to this issue. Senator Specter, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee has said he intends to take it up in committee when we return from break. “Immigration is a very real problem and the sooner we address it, the better. The longer we delay the worse the problem becomes.” #####

Apr 06 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he supported the Senate compromise bill on immigration reform. Graham participated in the negotiations with other Senators which led to the agreement. President Bush has expressed support for the bipartisan work of the Senate. Under the agreement, illegal immigrants would be separated into categories depending on the length of time they have been in the United States. * Illegal immigrants living in the country at least five years would be put on an eleven year path toward citizenship as long as they paid a $2,000 fine, passed a national security and criminal background check, remained employed, paid federal and state taxes, registered for military service, passed a civics test, and learned to speak English. They will not have to visit a port of entry. * Illegal immigrants living in the country for two to five years would have the opportunity obtain a temporary work visa. They would be subject to the visa requirements (fines, background checks, taxes paid, etc.), but they must exit the country. These immigrants would be fingerprinted and processed through US-VISIT at a land port of entry for return into the United States. After no less than eleven years, they could become citizens. * Illegal immigrants who have been in the country less than two years would be required to leave the United States. They could apply for temporary worker status, but would not be guaranteed to receive this status. “For illegal immigrants in the United States more than two years, the Senate bill is similar to a plea bargain,” said Graham. “They will have to come out of the shadows and acknowledge they came to the United States in violation of our immigration laws. The terms of probation will be to pay $2,000 in fines, undergo two national security and criminal background checks, remain employed, pay all federal and state taxes, register for military service, show proficiency in the English language and understand American civics.” “I think the terms of the probation are strict but fair,” said Graham. “Some immigrants will meet the terms of their probation and some won’t. Those who don’t will face deportation. Those who do will then be able to go to the back of the line to apply for citizenship. We made the conditions strict to ensure people pay their debt to society and they do the right thing if they wish to live in the United States.” The legislation retains the language on border enforcement and worker verification which Graham acknowledged were major provisions to enforce any immigration reform effort. Graham noted that one new provision was particularly important. It says that employers cannot offer a job to a guest worker until they verify the position was publicly listed at the prevailing wage and no American wanted to fill the position. This will help address concerns that guest workers will take jobs from Americans or depress wages in an area. “I’m pleased the Senate has chosen to come together, along with President Bush, to provide a comprehensive solution to the immigration problems facing our nation,” said Graham. “This problem has been neglected for too long. We need to secure our border and reform our immigration system now. We still have more work to do, but with President Bush’s support I believe this can become law.” The bill also contains provisions toughening the physical enforcement of the border by construction of a ‘virtual’ fence which relies on cameras, motion detectors and other technological devices to monitor illegal crossings into the United States. In certain high traffic areas, a real fence would be similar to the San Diego Border Fence, a state-of-the-art nearly impenetrable barrier which made illegal entry into our nation much more difficult, will be constructed. In addition, the legislation calls for the hiring of an additional 12,000 additional Border Patrol agents over the next five years. “The nation clearly has broken borders,” said Graham. “With this comprehensive immigration bill, the nation no longer has a broken Senate.” #####