Jul 28 2005
Brown, Graham, DeMint Help Secure Needed Funds
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Brown (R-S.C.) joined U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in announcing over $125 million in the House-Senate highway conference report to fund road projects in the First Congressional District of South Carolina. The surface transportation bill provides $286.4 billion in federal highway contract authority between 2004 and 2009, and is expected to pass the Senate and the House later this week. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation soon after. "As we complete the highway authorization bill, I feel that we have crafted legislation that both enhances the Nation's highway infrastructure and also significantly benefits the First District," said Congressman Henry Brown. "Jim and Lindsey helped form a powerful team in the Senate, and I am deeply appreciative of their assistance and of their leadership. Not only have we been able to secure a higher rate of return at 92% by 2008, but we have guaranteed that South Carolina's most critical highway project, I-73, has every opportunity to be accomplished. I-73 will provide much needed congestion relief and economic development that will allow the Grand Strand region to continue its strong growth. I would also like to thank John Spratt for his contribution of $8 million to I-73." “The highway bill is very good news for motorists in South Carolina,” said Senator Graham. “As a state, we were able to secure a more equitable funding formula which will put additional dollars toward our road system. It truly moves the ball forward in our efforts to build new roads while maintaining and improving the ones we currently have. I truly appreciate the work done by Jim and Henry on the highway bill. They’ve been leaders in this area and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for what they’ve been able to accomplish. Making sure our state was treated in a fair and equitable manner was a team effort, but these two guys served as team captains and deserve a great deal of credit for what our state was able to accomplish.” “The funding for these projects will improve our infrastructure and make South Carolina more competitive while also improving safety and our quality of life,” said Senator DeMint. “It was great to work with Henry on the conference committee. He worked tirelessly to make sure our priorities were addressed, and his efforts should be applauded. We are especially excited about I-73, and we will continue to work for its completion. I also want to personally thank Lindsey for his leadership and help to ensure South Carolina was treated fairly throughout this process.” Overall, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU) will authorize $2.9 billion to South Carolina’s highway, highway safety and transit programs. This is a total increase of nearly 28 percent over TEA-21. In addition to formula monies, several specific projects in the First District will receive significant funding, as described in the attached list. Most notable of these items is I-73, which has been earmarked $81 million. I-73 is also designated as a Project of Regional and National Significance, which qualifies the highway for significant future funding from the federal government. Notable Funding for 1st District Projects: North Rhett Boulevard, Berkeley- $5,600,000 Railroad Avenue Extension, Berkeley- $1,600,000 Port Access Road, Charleston- $10,000,000 Demolition of Old Cooper River Bridges, Charleston- $5,000,000 MUSC Roadway Enhancements, Charleston- $3,200,000 US 17/Bowman Road Interchange, Charleston- $4,800,000 Extension of the Mark Clark Expressway, Charleston- $3,000,000 Berlin Myers Interchange, Charleston- $6,400,000 Construction of I-73, Horry- $81,000,000 Carolina Bays Parkway, Horry- $2,400,000 701 Connector, Horry- $4,000,000 ####
Jul 28 2005
Betters South Carolina's Return Ratio; Has Funds for Needed Projects
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) joined U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in announcing support for the House-Senate highway conference report. The bill promises to return to South Carolina at least 92 percent of the gas taxes collected in South Carolina. In the previous highway bills (renewed every 6 years) South Carolina's return ratio has been as low as 81 percent. The House-passed version of the bill called for expenditures of $284 billion between 2004 and 2009; the Senate-passed version would have spent $295 billion; and the conferees settled at $286.4 billion. The conference report is expected to pass the Senate and the House later this week, and President Bush is expected to sign the legislation soon after. “With pressure from the President and the budget resolution, the conferees stayed closer to the overall spending level of the House. That's good,” Inglis said. “With pressure from the donor states, the conferees got us to a 92 percent return ratio. That's even better.” The conference report contains $19 million for road projects in South Carolina's Fourth District. In a victory for fiscal accountability, those amounts (as well as all amounts earmarked for districts across the country) are included in the determination of the “return ratio.” “The highway bill is very good news for motorists in South Carolina,” said Senator Graham. “As a state, we were able to secure a more equitable funding formula which will put additional dollars toward our road system. It truly moves the ball forward in our efforts to build new roads while maintaining and improving the ones we currently have. I truly appreciate Bob’s work in the House helping ensure our needs were met and interests were protected.” “The funding for these projects will improve our infrastructure and make South Carolina more competitive while also improving safety and our quality of life,” said Senator DeMint. “Bob worked hard to make Fourth District needs a priority in Washington, and his efforts should be commended. I also want to personally thank Lindsey for his leadership and help to ensure South Carolina was treated fairly throughout this process.” Notable Funding for Fourth District Projects: West Georgia Rd, Greenville- $3,600,000 ICAR roads, Greenville- $6,800,000 Greenville Multimodal Center, Greenville- $1,000,000 Brockman-McClimon Interchange, Spartanburg- $800,000 SC 9, Spartanburg- $6,800,000 Hub City Connector, Spartanburg- $800,000 ####
Jul 27 2005
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate passed the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act and the Southern Campaign of the Revolution Heritage Area Study Act. Both measures were included as part of a larger bill that included other heritage and interior-related legislation. The purpose of the Gullah/Geechee heritage corridor is to:
- Recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history by African-Americans known as the Gullah/Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina and Georgia.
- Assist state and local governments and public and private entities in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida in interpreting the story of the Gullah/Geechee and preserving Gullah/Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music.
- Assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah/Geechee for the benefit and education of the public.
Jul 26 2005
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today met with Supreme Court nominee John Roberts in Washington. Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He made this statement following the meeting. “Judge Roberts is an extremely bright and capable individual with an impeccable legal background. I very much enjoyed meeting with him. “It’s my hope the Senate will treat him in a fair and professional manner during the confirmation process. Early indications are that we will and I certainly hope that trend continues. “I do expect Judge Roberts will be aggressively questioned in the Judiciary Committee, but I do not expect him to say how he would vote on any particular case. Questions asking the nominee to do this in advance of hearing a case should be out-of-bounds. The same goes for requests for documents protected under attorney-client privilege. “It’s also improper to use a client’s position against the nominee. Lawyers give legal advice to those they represent and it’s not fair to judge them by the actions and thoughts of their clients. “I hope the hearings do not become a referendum on any single issue. The purpose of the hearing is to give members of the Senate an opportunity to examine the nominee’s qualifications and background. It’s not an opportunity to get them to say how they would rule on cases that may come before the Supreme Court in future years.” ####
Jul 25 2005
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was joined today by former U.S. Senator Ernest F. ‘Fritz’ Hollings and representatives from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to discuss the importance of making the Hollings Cancer Center a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center. “Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the nation,” said Graham. “Practically every South Carolina family has been impacted by this horrible disease. Like Senator Hollings, I want to do all humanly possible to conquer cancer. South Carolina is aggressively confronting its many health care problems and MUSC is on the front line of this battle.” “It’s my goal to take the Hollings Cancer Center to the next level by achieving a National Cancer Institute designation,” said Graham. “This designation would put the Center in an elite group of institutions. With an NCI designation, the Hollings Cancer Center would rightfully hold a place in the major leagues of cancer research.” An NCI designation is the highest recognition a cancer center can receive. It acknowledges the center has met the highest standards for patient care, prevention and control, research, and education in the field of cancer. This designation would increase the resources available to Hollings Cancer Center to conduct research and prevention programs. It will also increase the state’s access for clinical trials for newly developed drugs to fight cancer. “To reach this goal we must work together as a Congressional delegation and in concert with state and local officials, along with the private sector,” said Graham. “With Senator Hollings and the steady leadership of Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Kraft, I believe we can achieve this prestigious designation.” Graham has secured $8 million for the Hollings Cancer Center in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. The funding will go towards the construction of a new research facility dedicated to the role genetics plays in the development of cancer. It will also help in the long-term efforts to turn the Center into an NCI designated cancer center. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in South Carolina, claiming the lives of nearly 8,000 citizens each year. More than 17,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in South Carolina annually. One in two males and one in three females will develop cancer at some time in their lives. “The Hollings Cancer Center is a national leader in treatment and research,” said Graham. “With focused commitment and persistence an NCI designation is achievable over time. There would be no better way to honor Senator Hollings than to achieve this goal.” ####
Jul 25 2005
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is scheduled to offer an amendment to the defense authorization bill strengthening the legal hand of the Bush Administration and future Administrations to hold enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). “It is imperative we have procedures in place at Gitmo that will keep terrorists off the battlefield as long as necessary to protect our nation,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “My amendment seeks to achieve that goal.” “Without congressional authority we run a real risk a federal court will either take over or impede our efforts at Gitmo,” said Graham “We are winning in some courts and losing in others. It is now time to strengthen Gitmo so it can meet our national defense needs.” Graham noted that by Congress acting through statute, the likelihood of keeping properly designated enemy combatants off the battlefield for an undetermined amount of time is enhanced and will strengthen Gitmo’s legal position in federal court. “The president has established procedures to determine who is an enemy combatant and to annually review their status,” said Graham. “It’s now time for Congress to sign-off on these procedures and turn them into a statute, a move the courts will give great deference to.” The major provisions of the Graham amendment include:
- The Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT), established by the president, would become statutory law. The tribunal determines the status of whether a detainee is an unlawful enemy combatant.
- The Annual Review Board (ARB), also established by the president, would become statutory law. The ARB reviews the combatant’s status on an annual basis to determine if the individual is an enemy combatant, still holds intelligence value and/or, still presents a threat to the United States. Graham modifies current procedure by allowing an enemy combatant to have a military lawyer present when appearing before the ARB. They currently have a military representative present.
- The president is also given flexibility to update CSRT and ARB procedures by giving Congress 30 days notice.