Sep 14 2006
AS SEC PAULSON BEGINS ASIA TRIP, SCHUMER-GRAHAM FORMALLY REQUEST FLOOR TIME FOR VOTE ON CHINA TRADE BILL
For First Time Since Agreement Last April When Bill Got 67 Votes on Procedural Measure, Senators Request Up-Or-Down Vote
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today formally submitted their request to Senate leadership for a vote on the Schumer-Graham Free Trade Act. Last April, The Schumer-Graham legislation received 67 votes on a procedural vote and is scheduled for an up-or-down vote before September 30th. Schumer and Graham’s letter today formally requests floor time by the end of this month. “We’ve been very patient, but have seen little progress,” Senator Schumer said. “The Senate will be voting on our bill if China doesn’t make a significant move very soon. Time is running out. I hope that Hank returns with tangible results, but if the disconnect between China’s rhetoric and actions is any guide, we’ll have no choice but to call for a vote.” “Senator Schumer and I have been patient and flexible,” said Senator Graham. “We agreed to delay a vote on our legislation on three separate occasions. Most recently, in March we agreed to delay a vote for six additional months to give the Chinese additional time to revalue their currency. We have been determined and we have been reasonable. Now, the date of our promised vote is approaching and we are sorely disappointed with China’s pace of reform.” The Schumer-Graham Bill (S. 295) allows 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% will be applied to all Chinese products entering the United States. If the President certifies to Congress within 180 days of enactment that China has made a good-faith effort to revalue its currency upward, he may delay the imposition of the tariffs for an additional 180 days. If at the end of that 180-day period the President determines that China has developed and started actual implementation of a plan to revalue its currency, the President may delay imposition of the tariffs for an additional 12 months. The text of the letter is below: September 14, 2006 The Honorable William H. Frist Senate Majority Leader 509 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Harry Reid Senate Minority Leader 528 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Dear Majority Leader Frist and Minority Leader Reid: We are writing to you today to formally request specific time for floor debate and a vote on our China currency legislation, S. 295. The Senate committed to a vote under the unanimous consent agreement reached in April 2005, and the time has come for us to move forward on our bill. As you know, on April 6, 2005, we offered the text of S. 295 as an amendment to the State Department authorization bill. A motion was made to table our amendment, which failed by a 33-67 margin. Majorities of both parties, as well as majorities on both the Banking and Finance committees, voted against the tabling motion. At the time, we agreed via unanimous consent to delay the vote on S. 295 until the end of July 2005, provided that we receive two hours of debate and an up-or-down vote with no amendments. We also agreed not to offer our bill as an amendment to any other legislative vehicle. Since then, to show our willingness to be flexible and patient, we agreed to delay our vote on three separate occasions. Most recently, in March we agreed to delay a vote for six additional months to give the Chinese additional time to revalue their currency. In short, while we have been determined, we have also been reasonable. Now, the date in the agreement is approaching, and we are sorely disappointed with China’s pace of currency reform. In remarks preceding his trip to China, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson stated that, “with [China’s] leadership comes responsibility.” China has clearly failed to live up to its international obligations. Since July 2005, when China allowed the yuan to appreciate by 2.1 percent and promised to allow market forces to work, the currency has only appreciated by an additional two percent. In this period, the trade deficit with China continued to accelerate. In August alone, our deficit with China reached $18.8 billion, 33 percent greater than at the same time last year. Despite China’s rhetoric that revaluing their currency will destabilize their economy, we have seen quite the opposite. China’s economy is currently growing at an 11 percent annual rate, and its inflation rate has only been 1.3 percent over the last year. Therefore, we respectfully request that you schedule floor time for debate and a vote on S. 295, as early during the week of September 25 as possible. In addition, given the importance and visibility of the issue, we also ask that you abide by your earlier assurance that the vote on S. 295 not be one of the last orders of business before Congress adjourns for the 2006 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Charles E. Schumer Lindsey O. Graham
Sep 12 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the Senate has approved $92 million for South Carolina related defense projects. Graham and DeMint secured the funding in the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill. The Senators voted for the bill, which passed 98-0. “South Carolina’s contributions to the War on Terror and the defense of our nation are unparalleled,” said Graham. “South Carolinians serve in uniform in great numbers, and our industries are on the cutting edge of technology, providing the armed forces with the best equipment made. I am proud to join with Senator DeMint to secure funding for these worthy projects and I applaud my colleagues for passing a responsible bill that will ensure America’s military remains the best trained and best equipped fighting force in the world.” "South Carolina continues to lead the nation in developing and manufacturing state of the art equipment to ensure our troops remain the best equipped force in the world," said Senator DeMint. "This bill will ensure our military has the tools necessary to secure America's homeland. I'm proud of the noble work by our men and women in uniform and of South Carolina's long history in supporting their missions." South Carolina related projects include: LOWCOUNTRY:
- $6 million for the purchase of Quadruple Specialty Containers produced in Charleston.
- $5 million for the development of the Joint Threat Warning System, an air communication surveillance system that provides direct warning to aircrafts operating over hostile territory, enhancing situational awareness and increasing aircrew survivability and the probability of mission success. Development is based in Charleston.
- $4 million for the development and integration of Electronic Warfare (EW)/Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) System which will provide the Marines’ ability to fight the war on terror. Development is based in Charleston.
- $3 million for Air Operations Combat Support (AOCS) to provide war-planners with the first automated tool to determine the available combat air assets. Development is based in Charleston.
- $2 million for The Masking Shunt. The Masking Shunt is a layer-2 network security appliance that the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at SPAWAR as well as the Advanced Concepts and Technology Demonstration (ACTD) office in the Pentagon are interested in deploying in order to increase cyber security protection. The Masking Shunt hides Media Access Control (MAC) addresses of any pass through device.
- $6 million to upgrade Combat Casualty Care Equipment, including personnel kits and on-board kits for tactical vehicles. The main production facility is located in Greenville.
- $6 million for Next Generation Manufacturing Technologies Initiative. This program will advance the use of fuel cell technology from the laboratory to commercial manufacturing in order to assure a reliable supply of electrical energy to warfighter forces in the field.
- $2 million to research and develop an Active Coating Technology on Roto-craft (ACTOR) that allows the Army to extend development of material coatings from ground vehicles to helicopters. This technology helps to adapt in real time to the surrounding situation and environment. The program will be based at Clemson University.
- $2 million for development of the Advanced Warfighter Sustainment Systems for the 21st Century (AWSS-21). AWSS-21 will provide better packaged and more nutritious food to our soldiers in the field. Research is conducted at Clemson University and in Gray Court.
- $2 million for Moldable Fabric Armor which will provide an extremely tough yarn designed to be woven into fabric. These facilities are located throughout the Upstate.
- $11.614 million for the purchase of M249 SAW machine guns for the Army or Marines. The M249 is produced in Columbia.
- $13.175 million for the purchase of M240 medium machine guns for the Army or Marines. The M240 is produced in Columbia.
- $3 million for Antiballistic Windshield Armor (AWA). This funding will increase the safety and protection of our troops in light tactical wheeled vehicles. This work will be done in Bamberg.
- $2.4 million for the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR). The SCAR will be produced in Columbia.
- $2 million for the University of South Carolina for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Detection which will support the development of a system to protect U.S. forces from threats concealed in buildings, cargo containers, trucks or other vehicles.
- $1 million for Connect and Join. This funding will provide a unique communication tool that enables deployed service members to stay closely connected with their families back home. The service and technology will be carried out in Columbia.
- $6 million for the purchase of All Terrain Military Utility Vehicles (M-Gator) for the Army.
- $3 million to purchase portable tent lighting produced in Clover.
- $3 million for the development of high modulus carbon fibers in York. This will help supply domestic sources of carbon fiber for production of efficient manned and unmanned air and space vehicles in the military.
- $3.5 million for research and development of high temperature superconducting generators. Research is being conducted at the University of South Carolina and in Greenville.
- $3 million for further deployment of the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Vibration Management Enhancement Program, a maintenance diagnostic system, on Guard helicopters.
- $2.5 million for the development of an Advanced Electric Drive system for military vehicles. Development is done at facilities throughout South Carolina.
Sep 12 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Benedict College and Morris College will each receive a $600,000 grant to help address community development needs. The funds will be used to assist the schools in expanding their role and effectiveness in community development activities including neighborhood revitalization, housing development for low- and moderate-income persons, and economic development. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####
Sep 11 2006
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the five year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. “As we remember the tragic events of that terrible day, we should also keep in mind the families of the nearly 3,000 military members and civilians who have died fighting the global War on Terror. We also should be thankful for our men and women in military uniform and the law enforcement officials who continue to protect our nation. “In the last five years, many of the Al-Qaeda leaders who planned the 9/11 attacks have seen their world dramatically change. Many have been killed or captured by the brave men and women of the United States military. Those in our custody will be brought to justice by an American court system. And we will hunt down the remaining terrorists and bring them to justice no matter how long it takes. “Since 9/11 we have taken the fight to the terrorists. We are fighting them in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of at home. The terrorists understand what is on the line -- it is why they are so brutal and vicious. They know if a democracy can emerge from a dictatorship in Iraq and we bring freedom to Afghanistan, it will be a mighty blow to their efforts to spread evil throughout the Middle East and around the globe. “I urge all Americans to understand this war – unlike previous ones – has no capitals to capture, navies to sink, or peace treaties to be signed. This is a battle of ideology – good versus evil – that will be won by the side that exhibits the greatest resolve. Our will to win must be greater than the will of the terrorists.” #####
Sep 08 2006
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on testimony before the House Armed Services Committee made by generals and admirals from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The military leaders were testifying about the structure and procedure of tribunals to try terror suspects. “The concerns expressed by the generals and admirals about how we should conduct the trials of terrorists are very serious. I hope Members of Congress will agree.” ##### Statements from Military Leaders before the House Armed Services Committee September 7, 2006 Brigadier General James C. Walker, U.S. Marine Corps, Staff Judge Advocate * “I am not aware of any situation in the world where there is a system of jurisprudence that is recognized by civilized people where an individual can be tried and convicted without seeing the evidence against him. And I don't think that the United States needs to become the first in that scenario.” * “I personally remain concerned about any process which would permit the introduction of evidence against an accused outside of his presence. I simply believe the right to see the evidence against you and to be present when evidence is presented are fundamental to a full and fair trial and are also part of those judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people.” * “…..I concur with my colleagues that if we get to a point where the sole evidence against an accused is classified, he must be able to see that evidence. That's just essentially one of those elements of a full and fair trial.” * “We must maintain our nation's ability to deal with terrorists and with unlawful enemy combatants, but at the same time we must also provide those judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people.” * “While we seek that balance, we also must remember the concept of reciprocity: What we do and how we treat these individuals can, in the future, have a direct impact on our service men and women overseas.” Major General Scott Black, United States Army, Judge Advocate General * “I can't imagine any military judge believing that an accused has had a full and fair hearing if all the government's evidence that was introduced was all classified and the accused was not able to see any of it.” * “The Hamdan decision has reinforced our need to ensure military commissions are reflective of American values such as due process and the rule of law.” * “Our task has been to balance the utility of the military commissions with these values that are foundational to our democratic society.” * “I am concerned, one, that the package does not contain a provision that would prohibit the admission of evidence outside of the presence of the accused when that evidence is the sole evidence admitted to establish a material fact, if you follow. If it's the only piece of evidence that's necessary to convict, then I remain concerned about excluding the accused.” Major General Charles Dunlap, United States Air Force, Deputy Judge Advocate General * “A process fully compliant with Common Article 3 will enhance our standing internationally and empower our allies to embrace the legal reasoning and architecture behind the prosecution of military commission cases. Doing so is plainly in our war fighting interest.” * “But my bottom line, my personal opinion, sir, is that we cannot have a process whereby the finder of fact -- not the judge deciding, but the finder of fact -- gets evidence that the accused never sees and never has the opportunity to defend against…” Rear Admiral Bruce MacDonald, United State Navy, Judge Advocate General * “…there are some issues, particularly the use of classified evidence, where I would stand by the approach to that taken by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” * “With respect to coerced statements, it would be my position that I would recommend that the committee look at not allowing coerced statements; that statements that are obtained under torture are excluded under the current commission rules. However, statements obtained through coercion, if they meet a reliability and probative test, are admitted. * “I would recommend that the committee look to the Detainee Treatment Act and the cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment standard and apply that standard as well to statements that may or may not be coerced. And I would leave that determination to the military judge in charge of the commission to balance those competing interests.”
Sep 07 2006
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced South Carolina will receive more than $17.4 million in federal funds to enhance capacity to respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The funds will be used to improve infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhance the preparedness of hospitals and the health care system to deal with large numbers of casualties, expand public health laboratory and communications capacities and improve connectivity between hospitals, and city, local and state health departments to enhance disease reporting. The funds will also be used to exercise existing response plans, test capabilities and evaluate improvements. The funding is awarded via two separate but interrelated cooperative agreements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing $10,852,835 to develop emergency-ready public health departments by upgrading, improving, and sustaining their preparedness and response capabilities for “all-hazards” public health emergencies, including terrorism and other naturally-occurring public health emergencies. HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration is providing $6,632,258 to develop medical surge capacity and capability to deal with mass casualty events. This includes the expansion of hospital beds, development of isolation capacity, identifying additional health care personnel, establishing hospital-based pharmaceutical caches, and providing mental health services, trauma and burn care, communications and personal protective equipment. ####
Sep 07 2006
Discusses Military Tribunals and the Army Field Manual
Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417Lindsey Graham Interviewed on Fox News Channel
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
Jon Scott, Fox News Channel
The president drew cheers yesterday when he named some of the suspected terrorists who have been held at Guantanamo Bay -- transferred to Guantanamo Bay now to await trial. The president also announced a plan that calls, in part, for evidence to be withheld from defendants. Senator Lindsey Graham says he fears that would set a dangerous precedent the rest of the world would follow. He is among three Republican senators offering a revised proposal, one that guarantees that terrorist suspects get to see every bit of evidence gathered against them. Senator Graham joins us now. Senator, how big are your differences with the White House on this issue? GRAHAM:
Really not that big. And there's a lot of confusion about this. There's two circumstances involving classified information. The defense can request classified information from the prosecution to prepare their case. I support the military lawyer's position here, the active duty lawyers, who say the government should not have to give to the defense classified information not relevant to the case and the judge can exclude any classified information the judge believes would harm national security. What they're talking about that's new and different, that I think is a bad idea, is for the government to give to the jury classified information about innocence or guilt, and the accused never know -- never see what the jury sees, and he would be convicted not knowing what the evidence against him or her was. That could come back to haunt us. That's not necessary. I've talked to the prosecutors at Guantanamo Bay. They don't need that. And, to me, that is a bridge too far. You say "no" to classified information to terrorists that would hurt national security, but if you're going to put somebody in jail, they need to confront the evidence against them. And that is what I stand for. That's what the military lawyers stand for. And that's the way we've been doing it for 200 years. SCOTT:
But, for instance, you say if it's relevant to their case they should be allowed to see it. Let's say some undercover informant who is, you know -- is sort of becoming a traitor to his own organization, reveals some information. That would have to be revealed to these suspects, wouldn't it? GRAHAM:
No, no, no, no. The military rules of evidence cover this very situation. A confidential informant does not have to be disclosed in the prosecution of the case if it would create serious risk or injury to the informant or it would compromise national security. The terrorists could ask for satellite positioning. The judge would review their request and would say national security interest overcome your need to know about satellites. We're not going to give the terrorists the information to harm this nation. The judge will decide what's relevant and what's not. That's the way we do it in our military legal system. On the other hand, if we create a legal system, where the accused goes to jail never knowing what the evidence against him was, what the jury looked at, then that would be a departure that's unnecessary, that would hurt our guys if they are tried in a foreign land. That's what the military lawyers say; it makes sense to me. SCOTT:
The critics of the administration have said that it has used torture in obtaining information from some of these people. Are you concerned that some of these people have been tortured? GRAHAM:
No. I understand very well what the Department of Defense has come out with in terms of the Army Field Manual. The Army Field Manual is a model for the world. The interrogation techniques that we have at Gitmo, I think, are the way to go. The way Gitmo is being run as a jail is probably the best-run jail in the world. The American government doesn't torture people. Tortured evidence is unreliable. We do have aggressive interrogation techniques that fit within the rule of law. So I look forward to working with the administration to authorize a military commission that can bring these guys to trial. We've got some of the nastiest people in the world down there for four years. None of them have been going to trial. The Supreme Court struck down the military commissions. I want to get them reauthorized, put these guys in trial. It want interrogation techniques that are effective that will protect us, that live within our value system, and we can do that working together, and we should have done it two years ago. SCOTT:
All right. Senator Lindsey Graham, thank you. GRAHAM: