Feb 13 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on the stimulus package the Senate will vote on later today. 

“The stimulus package creates more government than jobs. The original goal was to work together to create jobs and stimulate our economy.  It’s clear we have failed miserably in that endeavor.”

Lack of Bipartisanship:

“There was never a real effort to find common ground.  We’re spending $1.1 trillion over the next ten years and we never had a thoughtful discussion to figure out how we could come together on something with bipartisan support.  The idea that this is bipartisanship does not meet any realistic test of bipartisanship.

Lack of Job Creation Provisions:

“About seventy percent of the jobs in our nation are created by small business.  If our goal was to crate jobs and stimulate the economy, one of the tests should be how much did we do for small business?  Not much.  Less than $3 billion in the entire package is directed to small business.  It’s one of the areas of the bill where the focus missed the target by a country mile. 

Untimely Spending to Create Jobs and Stimulate the Economy:

“There are so many things in the package completely unrelated to creating a job in the next 18 months.  Only 11 percent of the appropriated spending will be spent in the first year.  In fact, over half of the money will not be spent until two years from now.  We waste money in this bill that could have gone to shoring up the financial sector and fixing our housing problems.”


Feb 04 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said an alternative proposal he has worked on with Senate colleagues would do more to stimulate the economy than the more than $1 trillion legislation proposed by Senate Democrats. 

“The American people are rightfully upset with the stimulus package that passed the House of Representatives,” said Graham.  “The bill in the Senate is almost as bad.  The current plan spends too much and contains too little stimulus to help the economy.

“The alternative proposal I support spends less but does more,” said Graham.  “It’s a mixture of tax cuts, incentives for the purchase of a home, funding for shovel-ready infrastructure improvements, relief for homeowners facing foreclosure, and assistance to those who have lost their jobs.  We address the root cause of our current problems – the crisis in the housing market – by supporting home buyers and incentivizing mortgage loan modification.”

The major provisions of the legislation backed by Graham include:

Tax Provisions:

  • Eliminating half of the employee share of payroll taxes (3.1%) for 1 year
  • Lowering the 15 percent tax bracket to 10 percent and the 10 percent bracket to 5 percent.
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent for 1 year

Assisting Americans in Need:

  • Extension of unemployment benefits and food stamps through the end of 2009
  • Making unemployment benefits tax free through the end of 2009
  • Training and employment services for dislocated workers

Fix the Housing Crisis:

  • A $15,000 tax credit for the purchase of a home.
  • Loan modification incentives to keep people in their homes.

Investing in Infrastructure:

  • $45 billion in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to rebuild our nation.
  • $17 billion to improve and modernize barracks, facilities, and equipment for our troops in uniform.

Graham also noted the inclusion of a ‘spending trigger’ which would prevent any leftover funds from being spent when we achieve two consecutive quarters of positive GDP growth. 

“I am ready and willing to work with my colleagues on a stimulus plan which helps grow our economy,” said Graham.  “Thus far there have been limited bipartisan efforts to find areas of agreement.  The House bill passed with no Republican support and eleven Democrats voted against it.  This is not the bipartisanship I had hope for or been promised to the American people. 

“I stand ready to work with President Obama and my colleagues to create an economic stimulus package that is economically sound, timely and jump starts the economy,” said Graham.  “The plan currently under debate in the Senate does not accomplish any of these objectives.”



Feb 02 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on his vote in support of Eric Holder to serve as U.S. Attorney General.
“Mr. Holder understands the threat to our nation posed by terrorism.  In the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination, Mr. Holder agreed with me the United States is undoubtedly at war with a vicious and shadowy enemy, and that the war began before the attacks of September 11, 2001. 

“Mr. Holder agreed with me as well that the battlefield in the War on Terror is the entire globe.  It is not limited to the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, but also includes the financial system, through which terrorist networks are funded; and the internet, through which terrorists communicate and spread their message of violence and hatred.  Indeed, the tragic events of 9/11 proved that the battlefield even extends within our nation’s own borders.  The question of how best to win the War on Terror is the most profound issue facing the next Attorney General.  Mr. Holder understands the nature of this enemy and this conflict.

“There are some who argue that Mr. Holder’s previous mistakes should bar him from serving as Attorney General.  In expressing my support for Mr. Holder, I do not mean to minimize those misjudgments.  Indeed, Mr. Holder faces his past mistakes fully — admitting them, learning from them, and promising to exercise better judgment in the future.  While I understand concern with Mr. Holder’s past errors, it would be a mistake in its own right to reject on that basis this qualified nominee who comprehends the challenge our nation faces in defeating terrorism.

“I look forward to working with President Obama and Mr. Holder to fashion a system of detention for the War on Terror involving all three branches of government and of which all Americans can be proud.  Mr. Holder and I agree that in order to maintain the critical moral high ground in this war, we must treat detainees fairly, with more process than they would necessarily provide us.  We also agree that we must not release dangerous warriors back to the fight against our nation.  Criminalizing this war would be a terrible mistake, and Mr. Holder understands that.

“Four years ago, President Obama, then Senator Obama, stated on the floor of the Senate that the test of a nominee for Attorney General is, “whether that person is ready to put the Constitution of the people before the political agenda of the President.”  Eric Holder meets that test and for that reason I will support his nomination.”


Jan 27 2009

WASHINGTON – U.S Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on news the South Carolina unemployment rate for December has risen to 9.5 percent.

“These are not just numbers on a piece of paper.  These are real people – our friends, neighbors, family members who are suffering in these difficult economic times.  We see the signs of the economic slowdown in our towns and communities as businesses both big and small, lay off workers or simply shut their doors. 

“The current recession is as painful as any we have faced in decades.  Our economy, both in South Carolina and across the nation, continues to shed jobs at an alarming pace.  In December another 22,000 South Carolinians lost their jobs and for the first time in our state’s history more than 200,000 people are now out of work.

“Just yesterday, over 65,000 jobs cuts were announced by some of the most respected and well-known companies in our country.  It seems hardly a day goes by when some company does not announce additional layoffs and I fear the end is not yet in sight.

“So where do we go from here?  I don’t believe Congress and the President can solve all of our economic problems nor should we try.  But I do believe we can get the ball moving in the right direction with the passage of a responsible stimulus package that contains the appropriate mix of tax cuts and spending on infrastructure projects.  If the tax cuts or spending do not create jobs in the near term, they should not be in the stimulus package.

“South Carolinians expect their elected officials to stand up and address the most difficult issues facing our nation.  Today, none are more pressing than the current economic situation.

“I have made it clear I am ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to get our economy moving again.  I will continue to speak with and work with Obama Administration and my Senate colleagues on an economic stimulus package that creates jobs and puts people back to work.  South Carolinians expect and deserve nothing less.” 


Jan 22 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) today issued the following statement regarding the executive order put forth by President Obama calling for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo:  

“We support President Obama’s decision to close the prison at Guantanamo, reaffirm America’s adherence to the Geneva Conventions, and begin a process that will, we hope, lead to the resolution of all cases of Guantanamo detainees,” said Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain.  “The executive orders issued today constitute an important step in the right direction but leave several major issues unaddressed.”

“Numerous difficult issues remain,” Senator Graham and Senator McCain continued.  “Present at Guantanamo are a number of detainees who have been cleared for release but have found no foreign country willing to accept them.  Other detainees have been deemed too dangerous for release, but the sensitive nature of the evidence makes prosecution difficult.  The military’s proper role in processing detainees held on the battlefield at Bagram, Afghanistan, and other military prisons around the world must be defended, but that is left unresolved.  Also unresolved is the type of judicial process that would replace the military commissions. We believe the military commissions should have been allowed to continue their work.  We look forward to working with the President and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people.”


Dec 19 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on President Bush’s plan to offer $17.4 billion to General Motors and Chrysler.

Graham said:

“I’m disappointed with President Bush’s decision in many respects. 

“I do not believe it’s appropriate to use the TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program) funds to bail out the automotive companies.  These funds were supposed to be used to stabilize financial institutions.  The TARP legislation would certainly not have passed it we had known it was going to be used for this purpose. 

“The plan announced by the President today will not lead to the necessary reforms which will make these companies profitable.  The only viable solution is for them to enter Chapter 11 reorganization. 

“There the companies would be able to renegotiate their labor and health costs to make them competitive in the global marketplace.  It would also allow the reorganization to be accomplished without political considerations.  Presidential or congressional restructuring will end up being a political exercise more so than a business exercise to make these companies profitable. 

“If we continue down this road, I expect this will be the first of many government payments to the Big 3 automotive companies.”



Dec 11 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the auto bailout plan that passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.  The plan is scheduled to come before the Senate in the next few days.

Graham said:

“I oppose the current auto bailout plan. 

“Simply put, the model Detroit has created will not sustain itself in the global economy.  They need to make significant, structural changes before they receive federal assistance and those changes should be made in the private sector. 

“No one wants to see these companies fail and workers displaced.  I feel for the car dealers and their employees who are being hurt by years of bad decisions made by the leadership of the Big 3.  But I also realize that unless major, fundamental changes are made in the way the Big 3 operate, they will likely find themselves right back in the same situation. 

“I will continue to be open to proposals which help return the auto companies to profitable enterprises and protect the taxpayer.  The current plan does not meet those standards.”


Nov 17 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after meeting with President-elect Barack Obama. 

“We had a productive discussion with President-elect Obama and I appreciate the opportunity to meet with him.  I believe there will be opportunities to find common ground on the many difficult issues facing our nation.   Everyone at the meeting was committed to reducing government waste, reducing bitter partisanship, and reforming our government to make it work better for the American people.

“Where possible, the American people want us to work in a bipartisan fashion to address their problems.  I think today’s meeting was a positive step forward.”


Nov 17 2008

Due to the limited number of tickets allocated to each office, requests to Senator Graham’s office have exceeded his allotment and Senator Graham is not able to take ticket requests at this time.  There will be a public viewing area on the National Mall for those constituents who wish to attend but were unable to obtain tickets to the inaugural ceremony.

For more information about Inauguration Day, please visit the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website.

















Nov 06 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the news Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel has accepted the job as White House Chief of Staff.  Graham spoke by phone with Emanuel earlier today.


Graham said:


“This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama.


“Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills.  He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together.  He is well-suited for the position of White House Chief of Staff.


“I worked closely with him during the presidential debate negotiations which were completed in record time.  When we hit a rough spot, he always looked for a path forward.  I consider Rahm to be a friend and colleague.  He’s tough but fair.  Honest, direct, and candid.  These qualities will serve President-elect Obama well.


“Rahm understands the challenges facing our nation and will, consistent with the agenda set by President-elect Obama, work to find common ground where it exists.  I look forward to working with him in his new position and will continue to do everything I can to help find a pathway forward on the difficult problems facing our nation.”