May 25 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of Priscilla Owen who was confirmed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Her nomination had been on hold in the Senate for the past four years. “It’s a very good day when you confirm someone of her quality to serve at the highest levels of the judiciary,” said Graham. “The confirmation vote on Judge Owen confirms what we’ve know all along -- the criticism was politically manufactured opposition. I’m glad she was confirmed and will now take her position on the federal bench.” The vote in the Senate was 56-43. #####

May 25 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced former South Carolina Speaker of the House David Wilkins before a hearing of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. The subcommittee was considering Wilkins’ nomination to be Ambassador to Canada. Graham was joined by U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island). Following the hearing, Graham released this statement: “The hearing went very well. Speaker Wilkins enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate and in South Carolina so I hope he will be confirmed soon. “Canada is one of our strongest allies and there has been some tension in the relationship because of the war in Iraq. David is a problem solver and has the personal skills to help repair any damage. He’s also very close and loyal to the President. “South Carolina will lose a great statesman, but the United States will gain a great ambassador. I think he’ll be confirmed in a bipartisan manner and know he and his wife, Susan, will make us all proud.” ####

May 23 2005

Statement from Lindsey Graham

Senate Reaches Agreement Which Clears the Way for Some of President Bush's Nominees to be Confirmed to the Federal Bench

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tonight made the following statement on the agreement which clears the way for some of President Bush's nominees to be confirmed to the federal bench. Graham said: "The American people won tonight. The Senate is back in business. And I truly believe future judicial nominees will be treated better because of this agreement." "The agreement allows up or down votes on deserving nominees and gives the Senate a chance to start over regarding future nominees. It's my hope both sides have learned from their mistakes and we can get back to the traditional way of doing business when it comes to judges. "One of the major elements of the deal makes clear that if one of my seven Democratic colleagues decides to filibuster in the future because of an "extraordinary circumstance," I retain the right to vote for a rules change. It's my hope we never get to that point. "With better communication and a spirit of putting the country ahead of ourselves, I believe we can avoid future filibusters. "We are a nation at war which desperately needs a functioning Senate. Our men and women in harms way deserve Senators with personal courage and respect fo the institution. They are risking their lives to defend our freedom and those of us in the Senate should have the courage to put the welfare of the country ahead of our own personal political interests. That's the least we should do. #####

May 20 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Attorney General’s office will receive a $400,000 grant to support the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The Task Force brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement and child welfare organizations to:
  • Conduct reactive and proactive ICAC investigations;
  • Develop a prevention education program;
  • Establish a case management system;
  • Develop standardized protocol for interagency referrals; and,
  • Increase forensic and investigative capacity through training and the acquisition of specialized equipment.
The South Carolina ICAC Task Force was started in 1998, one of the ten original programs throughout the country. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

May 20 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Hardeeville Fire and Rescue will receive a thermal imager valued at $12,500 through the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). CEDAP provides smaller law enforcement and emergency responder agencies with equipment that will enhance and support regional response, mutual aid, and interoperability of equipment. The program will also provide travel, lodging and per diem expenses for one representative to attend a mandatory training session on how to use the machine. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

May 19 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive three grants worth more than $1.2 million dollars to bolster law enforcement programs for juveniles. South Carolina Department of Public Safety
  • $671,200 Juvenile Accountability Block Grant- The funds are used to develop programs throughout the State to strengthen the juvenile justice system.
  • $184,000 Community Prevention Grant- The funds are used to create or support community programs throughout the State that focus on reducing risks and enhancing protective factors in order to prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system.
South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services
  • $350,000 Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Block Grant- The funds are used throughout the State to help enforce laws that prohibit the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors.
The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

May 18 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced $121,669 in fire grants for Bamberg, Lando, Mauldin, and Westminster. “Firefighters risk their lives to protect others,” said Graham. “They are truly some of the heroes in our midst. The programs funded by these grants will help enable firefighters to better educate and protect the public.” The funds may be used for public education and awareness activities, fire code enforcement, fire inspector certification, the purchase and installation of smoke alarms and fire suppression systems, wildland fire mitigation, and arson prevention and detection. The grants awarded include: Bamberg Bamberg Fire Department will receive a $6,773 grant. Lando Lando will receive a $24,458 grant. Mauldin Mauldin will receive a $39,768 grant. Westminster Westminster Fire Department will receive a $50,670 grant. The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community. The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel. Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction. Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share. The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions. In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year. The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

May 18 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Berkeley and Newberry counties have been awarded federal grants for airport improvements. Berkeley County will receive $150,000 to conduct an environmental assessment for the extension of the taxiway at the Berkeley County Airport. Newberry County will receive $125,000 to help construct a fuel farm at the Newberry County Airport. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

May 17 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the U.S. Treasury report on the currency practices of our trading partners. The report said the fixed exchange rate China maintains “is a substantial distortion to world markets” but did not find them to be manipulating their currency. Graham said: “I hope the Bush Administration builds on this report and lets the Chinese know their currency must change or they will face severe consequences. “For the first time, the Administration has called what China is doing a ‘distortion.’ They are moving in the right direction and I applaud them for beginning to take a tougher line in dealing with the Chinese. But make no mistake, more must be done. “It’s pretty simple – China cheats. The Chinese manipulate their currency to gain an unfair advantage over the U.S. and other nations. The chorus of voices opposing what China is doing is expanding as the G-7 and European Union both accuse China of manipulating its currency. “We need to address this issue as soon as possible. It’s one thing if someone outworks or outsmarts us. But it’s not fair when someone is rigging the rules of the game to give them an unfair competitive advantage.” ####

May 17 2005

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) voted against the $295 billion highway reauthorization bill that exceeded budget authority by $11 billion. The Senate approved the bill by an 89-11 vote. “It’s only been a few weeks since we adopted a budget to control spending and the Senate has already gone back on its word,” said Senator DeMint. “We had a chance to pass a responsible bill, but the Senate’s addiction to spending prevailed.” “The 11th hour increase in the spending level made it impossible for me to support,” said Senator Graham. “It was a tough decision because there are some important policy changes made in the bill that will benefit our state. The only way our nation will solve its fiscal problems is to do what families and businesses routinely do and that’s stick to a budget.” The Bush Administration has repeatedly warned that it will reject the reauthorization bill if its six-year cost exceeds $284 billion from fiscal year 2004 through fiscal 2009. While both Senators opposed the bill’s excessive spending, DeMint and Graham were able to secure some important policy changes. These include a better formula in the bill that will return more federal gas tax dollars to South Carolina. Under the new legislation, South Carolina would receive 92 cents back on every dollar it sends to Washington in gas taxes, an increase from the 90.5 percent the state has received since 1998. The two Senators were also successful in adding a new safety program that will give states like South Carolina greater flexibility in addressing safety needs. Approximately $1 billion will be available for safety improvements such as rumble strips, widening lanes, installing guard rails, and additional signage. All public roads are eligible for this new safety funding. Highway, public transit, and traffic safety programs are running on a temporary extension that expires May 31. That leaves just eight legislative days for a conference committee to complete its work at reconciling the significant policy differences in the House and Senate bills. “One of my top goals has been to give states more control of their highway dollars,” said Senator DeMint. “I’m glad this bill takes a step in that direction. However, time is running out and we need the conferees to quickly agree on a responsible bill that the President can sign.” “The highway bill was intended to create jobs and direct resources to desperately needed highway infrastructure,” said Senator Graham. “Unfortunately, the final version of the bill we voted on busted the budget and will create a ripple effect throughout the government.” “Fiscal discipline by Democrats and Republicans, when it comes to budget matters, is being eroded in every Congress,” continued Graham. “My vote is a statement of principle that budget discipline does matter no matter how popular the cause. I hope the House and Senate conference committee will exercise more fiscal restraint as they work to resolve the differences between the two bills.” ###