Oct 17 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was at the White House with a small group of Senators and Representatives flanking the President as he signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. The legislation establishes military tribunals and provides the legal infrastructure to fight and win the War on Terror. “This law will make our nation stronger and the terrorists weaker,” said Graham. “I was proud to stand with President Bush and work with his team, along with other Members of Congress, to pass this historic legislation. It can now be said the executive and legislative branches are on the same sheet of legal music when it comes to detaining and trying terrorist enemy combatants.” Graham noted the major points of the legislation include: • Protecting President Bush’s CIA program for High-Value Targets (HVT) by allowing aggressive interrogation techniques -- classified in nature -- that will continue to yield good information protecting our nation from terrorists. The CIA has the clarity they needed regarding interrogation techniques and for the first time clearly defined what constitutes a ‘grave breach’ of the Geneva Convention. By accomplishing this goal, the CIA can move forward with their program in a manner consistent with our international obligations and our values. • Prohibiting terror suspects and others from suing CIA agents or their families for doing their jobs. • Establishing military tribunals in a manner consistent with our national values. The military tribunal system protects our nation’s secrets in an unprecedented manner while at the same time allowing defendants the ability to confront evidence against them. To do otherwise, would run the serious risk of the Supreme Court rejecting the legislation. Congress and President Bush achieved the correct balance between protecting ourselves in this war without setting precedent that would jeopardize our troops in future wars. • Prevents terror suspects from filing lawsuits in federal court. Federal judges will be allowed to conduct limited review of certain legal issues but will not be able to take over military decisions determining who is and who is not an enemy combatant. “Under the Military Commissions Act, we establish military tribunals in a manner consistent with our national values and demonstrate our nation is rendering justice, not vengeance,” said Graham. “They are modeled after our own court-martial system and I strongly believe the Supreme Court will uphold them. They represent a model of justice during a time of war our nation can be proud of. “Working together Congress and President Bush rose to the occasion and demonstrated it was possible to provide tools to the President, CIA, and military to fight this vicious enemy and do so without abandoning our Geneva Convention obligations or national values,” said Graham. “After four years of legal starts and stops, we can now put terrorists on trial and administer justice.” #####

Oct 13 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the presence of coalition forces in Iraq. “It would be highly irresponsible to withdraw coalition forces from Iraq at this crucial time in the young democracy’s evolution. The popularly elected government is only four months old. Without the presence of coalition forces, insurgents and terrorist organizations trying to destabilize the Iraqi democracy would win the day. All out civil war is likely without a strong coalition presence, and almost certainly would lead to a wider regional conflict. “It is imperative the coalition continue to support this young democracy militarily, allowing the Iraqi police and military to stand up and protect their nation. Withdrawal of coalition forces would be a devastating blow to their efforts. “However, current troop levels seem inadequate to the task of securing parts of Iraq. Instead of withdrawing troops, we should strengthen the coalition presence in unstable areas so a security environment can emerge that will allow for a peaceful, political solution to Iraq’s problems instead of a violent confrontation.” ####

Oct 12 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced jurisdictions throughout South Carolina will receive more than $355,000 dollars to help purchase 2,844 bulletproof vests. “Law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line to protect the public,” said Graham. “We ought to ensure they have the best available equipment to protect themselves as they protect us.” “As protectors of our families and homes, law enforcement officials risk their own safety on a daily basis,” said DeMint. “These men and women are true heroes in our communities and the vests will help keep them safe while in the line of duty.” The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grants provide funding priority to jurisdictions with a population under 100,000. The funds will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of bulletproof vests. Jurisdictions with populations of 100,000 or more are eligible to receive funding with money remaining in the grant fund. Award recipients include: Counties Aiken- $1,389 for 25 vests Beaufort- $22,246 for 301 vests Berkeley- $16,557 for 80 vests Charleston- $16,481 for 223 vests Cherokee- $6,425 for 20 vests Clarendon- $2,445 for 9 vests Dorchester- $7,870 for 30 vests Georgetown- $9,139 for 36 Horry- $9,399 for 200 vests Lancaster- $4,078 for 15 vests Lexington- $4,349 for 76 vests McCormick- $4,730 for 17 vests Newberry- $2,681 for 11 vests Oconee- $15,511 for 26 vests Orangeburg- $6,237 for 25 vests Pickens- $527 for 10 vests Richland- $5,595 for 100 vests Spartanburg- $2,818 for 56 vests Cities Abbeville- $1,391 for 5 vests Aiken- $1,113 for 4 vests Aynor- $475 for 2 vests Barnwell- $2,650 for 10 vests Beaufort- $4,134 for 15 vests Belton- $1,757 for 6 vests Burnettown- $2,692 for 8 vests Calhoun Falls- $2,519 for 8 vests Cayce- $2,105 for 10 vests Charleston- $10,882 for 40 vests Clinton- $10,070 for 8 vests Columbia- $15,649 for 235 vests Conway- $5,290 for 20 vests Duncan- $1,353 for 5 vests Easley- $14,328 for 42 vests Folly Beach- $528 for 2 vests Goose Creek- $6,300 for 18 vests Greenville- $1,288 for 5 vests Greenwood- $11,594 for 53 vests Irmo- $1,328 for 5 vests Lamar- $1,590 for 6 vests Lancaster- $4,224 for 13 vests Lexington- $900 for 4 vests Manning- $1,732 for 5 vests Mt. Pleasant- $4,968 for 17 vests Newberry- $959 for 5 vests North Augusta- $6,238 for 22 vests North Charleston- $14,375 for 50 vests North- $654 for 2 vests Orangeburg- $3,214 for 14 vests Pamplico- $874 for 3 vests Port Royal- $3,040 for 12 vests Simpsonville- $1,812 for 6 vests Spartanburg- $6,575 for 25 vests St. Matthews- $2,438 for 10 vests Sumter- $6,762 for 25 vests Surfside Beach- $2,320 for 8 vests Travelers Rest- $1,554 for 6 vests Walhalla- $3,339 for 12 vests Walterboro- $3,756 for 8 vests West Columbia- $2,525 for 10 vests Other Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport- $7,000 for 20 vests State of South Carolina- $39,187 for 800 vests The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Oct 09 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on reports of a North Korea nuclear test. Graham said: “The worst thing that could now happen is for the international community to be all talk and no action when it comes to North Korea. “We must work together with our allies in the region to contain the threat posed by North Korea. That includes passing sanctions at the United Nations that have bite. We also should push forward on a missile defense system capable of intercepting a rocket launch and stopping the proliferation of nuclear technology or materials from North Korea. Their track record when it comes to proliferation of weapons technology is downright frightening. “Hopefully the international community will realize that rogue regimes bent on acquiring nuclear weapons must be forcefully dealt with before it’s too late. Iran, with its own international ambitions, is closely studying how we deal with North Korea. Hollow threats will be seen by rogue regimes like Iran as a green light for their nuclear ambitions.” #####

Oct 04 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in South Carolina will receive $8 million to help support national security and nonproliferation missions. “Nuclear security and reducing the threat of global terrorism are vitally important to protecting and defending our national interests,” said Graham. “I am proud that South Carolina’s HBCU’s are taking a leading role in preparing the next generation of professionals in these fields.” "This is a great opportunity to draw more students from South Carolina into scientific fields that are vital to national security and our state's HBCU's will be out front recruiting these students," said DeMint. The goal of the program is to increase the number of minority students pursuing science and technology careers. The grants will help establish a partnership with the next generation of creative and committed leaders who will assist the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in meeting its national security demands. The grants will also help to attract minority graduates for employment within NNSA. Award recipients include: Allen University- $4,000,000 Create Science Research Infrastructure for Allen University to Promote and Implement NNSA Science Research Initiatives with High School and Undergraduate Students Claflin University- $2,000,000 Program for the Preparation of a Technologically Literate Science Workforce to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century South Carolina State University- $1,000,000 Enhancement of Research, Environmental Management, and Science Curriculum Voorhees College- $1,000,000 Lighting the Way Part II: Securing Our Future The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. ####

Oct 04 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $1.8 million in grants to fire departments in Batesburg, Blacksburg, Clover, Heath Springs, Holly Hill, Honea Path, Lancaster, Marietta, Moncks Corner, Nichols, Ridgeville, Seneca, Sheldon, Springfield, Una, Walhalla, and Woodruff. “Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians,” said Graham. “These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.” “I’m pleased to announce these grants that are important to the brave firefighters that risk their lives for the families of South Carolina,” said Senator DeMint. The grants were awarded in one of two program areas:
  • Operations and Firefighter Safety Program: The funds may be used for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
  • Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used for the purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.
The grants awarded include: Batesburg Sandy Ridge Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $145,350 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Blacksburg Antioch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $32,300 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Clover Clover Fire Department will receive a $59,688 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Heath Springs Rich Hill Fire Department will receive a $39,900 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Holly Hill Holly Hill Fire Department will receive a $187,768 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Honea Path Dunklin Fire District will receive a $105,275 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Lancaster Elgin Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $68,590 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Marietta River Falls Fire Department will receive a $28,167 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Moncks Corner Cordesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $68,551 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Moncks Corner Rural Fire Department will receive a $109,944 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Whitesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $42,180 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Nichols Nichols Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $177,650 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Ridgeville Lebanon Fire Department of Berkeley County will receive a $191,900 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Seneca Friendship Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $62,030 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Sheldon Sheldon Township Fire District will receive an $83,198 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Springfield Springfield Fire Department will receive a $187,720 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. Una Una Fire Department will receive a $114,475 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Walhalla Pickett Post-Camp Oak Fire Department will receive a $23,313 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Woodruff Woodruff Fire Department will receive a $171,000 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition 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. ####

Oct 02 2006

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved H.R. 5546, a bill to designate the Federal courthouse to be constructed in Greenville, South Carolina, as the “Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. U.S. Courthouse.” The legislation passed the U.S. House last Wednesday, and is now sent to President Bush for his signature. “I’m proud the Senate paid tribute to a man whose distinguished service as both governor and congressman helped usher in a new era of purpose and prosperity for the Palmetto State. Carroll and Iris were good friends and mentors to Debbie and me when I entered Congress. He never passed my office without stopping in to say hello and offer a well-timed word of advice. Carroll was an optimist and a visionary, and the building that will bear his name will not only serve as a gateway to Greenville but to all that is possible in South Carolina” said Senator Jim DeMint. “This is a fitting tribute to one of South Carolina’s most distinguished sons,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. “Governor Campbell reshaped South Carolina politics and was a trailblazer on many fronts. He was the first Governor to make an aggressive, successful effort to recruit large numbers of international businesses to our state and created a model we still follow today. He also helped reform and improve the way state government works for our citizens. I truly appreciate and admire all he has done for our state. There’s no doubt his lifetime of work will continue to pay dividends to our state for years to come.” “Carroll Campbell set the standard for what it means to be an effective congressman and governor,” Inglis said. “I often think, 'What would Gov. Campbell have done in this situation.' There's a whole generation of us who grew up into politics, looking to him as a guide.” The Senate legislation was sponsored by Senators DeMint and Graham. The U.S. House legislation was cosponsored by all members of the South Carolina delegation. ###

Oct 02 2006

Project Seahawk Established as National Model for Port Security

Department of Justice Releases $11.5 Million for Seahawk Operations

WASHINGTON -- It has been a productive week for the future of port security and Project Seahawk at the Port of Charleston. Last week, the U.S. Congress passed legislation, the SAFE Port Act, calling for the establishment of interagency port security centers modeled on Project Seahawk at every high-priority port in the United States within the next three years. Closer to home, the Department of Justice has agreed to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) request for the Department to release an additional $11.5 million in funding for continued operation of Project Seahawk at the Port of Charleston. The funding will sustain Seahawk operations for at least the next twelve months. “Project Seahawk is now the national model for port security,” said Graham. “We have had a productive few weeks when it comes to port security and Project Seahawk. With the strong collaborative support of Representative Henry Brown in the House we also have been able to have funding released from the Department of Justice which will help Seahawk continue operations at the port. Port security has been a weak link in our homeland security efforts. I’m glad to see we continue to take steps to ensure that we can protect ports in South Carolina and across the nation.” Graham noted the SAFE Port Act contains language he authored that establishes interagency operational centers for port security throughout the country. The “Seahawk Centers” would be run by the Coast Guard and include the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and other federal agencies. State and local law enforcement, first responders, port authority or maritime exchange representatives would also be included in the joint operations. “The innovation and cooperation practiced at the Port of Charleston serves our state and nation well,” said Graham. “Project Seahawk is the answer to a very serious problem and I am pleased that we will put this innovative program into use across the nation. I’m very proud of the work being done in South Carolina to protect the port. This legislation will not only help keep Project Seahawk operating in Charleston, but it will help improve our port security operations across the nation.” “I, along with Representative Brown, will remain tireless advocates for Project Seahawk and national port security efforts,” said Graham. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days. ####

Sep 30 2006

Graham Supports Border Fencing

Continues Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) last night voted in support of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 which passed the Senate by a vote of 80-19. The legislation already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will be sent to President Bush who has said he will sign the measure into law. “The first issue to address in immigration reform is border security,” said Graham. “Without strong physical border security no immigration reform will be successful in stopping the flood of illegal crossings. The porous nature of our border doesn’t just pose immigration problems, but national security ones as well.” “Unfortunately, additional fencing by itself does not address all our immigration problems,” continued Graham. “Nearly half of the illegal immigrants in the United States today never illegally crossed the border. They came to the United States as tourists, students or workers and never left. In many cases, they have obtained employment using fraudulent documents which put employers in the no-win situation of determining whether they can legally work in the United States.” Graham noted that immigration is about jobs and that as a nation we must better control who gets them. This can be accomplished by creating of a guest worker program and instituting a worker verification system that lets employers know whether a job applicant can legally work in the United States. The Senate immigration bill created a tamper-proof biometric worker verification card which would be issued to guest workers. The card would enable employers to differentiate between legal and illegal workers before hiring them. It also authorized the hiring of 5,000 new interior enforcement investigators over the next five years to uphold our employment laws. “President Bush and I continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Graham. ““It’s time for our nation to have a permanent, not partial, solution to illegal immigration.” #####

Sep 29 2006

Washington, DC - Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today announced that the Department of Defense Authorization bill conference report finalized today includes an amendment that will improve TRICARE benefits for National Guard members and Reservists, allowing all members of the Selected Reserve and their families to enroll in TRICARE with an across the board cost-sharing of 28 percent. Today’s victory builds on the Senators’ longstanding commitment to ensuring that members of our National Guard and Reserve and their families have access to the health care benefits they need and deserve. “I’m pleased that after three years of work the House and Senate have finally agreed to make military health care coverage available to every member of the Guard and Reserve,” said Graham. “This long overdue benefit will help our recruitment, retention, and readiness efforts for our stressed reserve component. Every reservist and their family will be able to enjoy continuity of care, whether they are called to active duty or not. I appreciate the support of Senator Clinton in this effort along with Senators DeWine, Leahy, Chambliss, Allen, Warner and Levin. Senator Clinton and I have been fortunate to have very good allies in this effort and Congress has stepped up to the plate to meet the health care needs of our Guard and Reserves.” “I am proud that we have taken another step forward for our National Guard members and Reservists and their families. All members of the Selected Reserve and their families will now have access to TRICARE benefits, at one modest premium rate, regardless of their deployment status. This is the right thing to do for these brave men and women who are serving courageously on our behalf. This will also help ensure that our National Guard members and Reservists are medically ready to serve, which is critical to improving our preparedness,” said Senator Clinton. Senators Graham and Clinton first proposed expanding access to TRICARE for Guard Members and Reservists in 2003 when they introduced the National Guard and Reserves Reform Act for the 21st Century. Since then, they have worked steadily toward this goal, steadily securing expansions in TRICARE benefits for Guardsmen and Reservists. Last year, Senators Clinton and Graham secured passage of an amendment to the DoD Authorization bill that made all members of the Selected Reserve eligible to enroll in TRICARE and created a separate category based on whether a Guard member or Reservist had been deployed. Category 1 for members of the Selected Reserves who had been activated: members would accumulate one year of TRICARE coverage for every 90 days of active duty service and would only have to pay 28 percent of the cost. Category 2 established a 50-50 cost share for those without health insurance due to unemployment or lack of employer-provided coverage. And Category 3 covered the remainder of members of the Selected Reserve who did not fit in the other categories, allowing them to buy into coverage at an 85 percent cost share. This built on expanded eligibility the Senators previously secured. In October 2004, legislation co-sponsored by Senators Graham and Clinton was signed into law as part of the Department of Defense Authorization bill which provided an extension of one additional year of TRICARE eligibility to Guard and Reserve members for every 90 days the Reservist or Guardsman serves. This expanded eligibility program went into effect at the Department of Defense in April 2005. The Graham-Clinton TRICARE efforts have gained support from many groups including the National Guard Association of the United States, the Reserve Officers Association, and the National Governors Association. The DoD Authorization bill conference report will now go to the Senate and House floors for approval and then to the President’s desk to be signed into law. ###