Jun 28 2005

WASHINGTON – Today, Georgia and South Carolina lawmakers praised the Department of Energy (DOE) for agreeing to provide $4.3 million for the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, SC in fiscal year 2006. The announcement is part of a joint year-long effort to secure funding for the laboratory. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Johnny Isaskon, R-Ga., Lindsey Graham, R-SC and Jim DeMint, R-SC, along with Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., and Gresham Barrett, R-SC, launched the effort earlier this year upon learning the White House budget did not include funds for the laboratory. The lawmakers credit U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman for listening to their concerns and working with the Georgia and South Carolina delegation to invest funding in the laboratory’s critical work. “In numerous meetings, phone calls and letters we jointly impressed upon Secretary Bodman the importance of this project to our nation,” said Chambliss. “The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has been operated by the University of Georgia for over 54 years and has been widely recognized for its research, education and pubic outreach programs. I am thankful Secretary Bodman and his staff worked with us to address the laboratory’s important funding needs.” “I am very pleased Secretary Bodman has been so willing to work with us over the past several months to ensure that the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the University of Georgia can continue their critical research at Savannah River Site. Our Georgia and South Carolina delegations made a very strong case as to why SREL deserves to continue to receive funding from the Department of Energy and we appreciate Secretary Bodman’s willingness to take this action,” Isakson said. “The SREL has helped track the effects on the environment from our Cold War missions,” said Graham. “The data they collect provides a public health service and the funding level we achieved in the Senate is an important step toward the lab’s continued operation. I’m pleased we were able to work with our friends from Georgia to secure funding this year.” “I’m glad the Department of Energy worked with us to find a thoughtful solution to address the needs of the lab,” said Senator DeMint. “The Savannah River Ecology Lab’s independent analysis is crucial to understanding the environmental impact of work done at the Savannah River site. This decision will sustain the lab and its important work.” "This is good news," Congressman Kingston said. "Keeping funding flowing for the ecological research being done at the lab is very important. I know Dr. Bertsch is pleased and I am glad Secretary Bodman and the Energy Department worked with us to keep this going." "We have worked hard to impress upon the Department of Energy the importance of SREL's mission to the nation. While I am disappointed that full funding was not restored through the contract year, I am pleased that Secretary Bodman worked with us to provide enough funding for SREL to remain operational," said Barrett. "We remain committed to working together for the future of the lab." "While it remains a disappointment that we were unable to convince DOE to restore full funding, we have still come away with a clear victory for maintaining SREL until new, permanent funding sources can be found," says Norwood. "The work done by SREL is too vital for the nation's environmental research efforts to ever let this facility go dark." Situated on the grounds of Savannah River Site (SRS), the SREL provides an independent evaluation of the ecological effects of DOE's SRS operations through a program of ecological research, education, and outreach which involves basic and applied environmental research, with emphasis upon expanding the understanding of ecological processes and principles, and upon evaluating the impacts of industrial and land use activities on the environment. ###

Jun 28 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the Energy bill which passed through the chamber on an overwhelming 85-12 vote. The legislation has been a top priority for President Bush since he took office in 2001. “Passage of the energy bill through the Senate is a major step forward for the nation in helping make us energy independent,” said Graham. “It contains provisions encouraging additional hydrogen research and the construction of new nuclear energy facilities. It meets the major objectives of producing and conserving more energy, diversifying our energy supply, and employing the latest technology to deliver energy. ” Graham noted the Senate legislation contained over $3.5 billion in funding over the next 5 years for hydrogen research. The language in the Senate bill was largely based upon language authored by Graham and introduced in the Senate earlier this year. “What Detroit was to the automotive industry, South Carolina can be to hydrogen,” said Graham. “We’ve got research initiatives going on across the state and we’re on the ground floor in cutting-edge hydrogen research. The legislation will benefit our state by helping push further in hydrogen research.” “The legislation also strengthens our nuclear energy sector,” said Graham. “Nuclear energy is a clean source of power and one we need to utilize more in the coming years. It truly is a shame that we have not licensed a new nuclear facility in the United States in three decades. “Unfortunately, changes in energy policy will not mean people at the pump will see an immediate decrease in their fuel prices,” said Graham. “Like President Bush has said, ‘I wish I could just wave a wand and lower the price at the pump.’ It’s taken a while for us to get into this situation and it will take a while to begin working our way out. Today’s vote was a big step in the right direction. I look forward to considering the final version of the legislation when it emerges from the House-Senate conference.” #####

Jun 28 2005

WASHINGTON-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement: "I believe President Bush made a very persuasive and much-needed case the war in Iraq is indeed part of the global War on Terror. I, too, believe the outcome in Iraq directy affects our national security. "President Bush reminded us, in graphic terms, about the nature of our ruthless enemy whose biggest fear is an emerging democracy in the Middle East. He identified the goal of the terrorists as being that of killing an idea called democracy. And he's correct when he notes the terrorists show no mercy for anyone -- man, woman, or child -- that embraces democracy. "We must give the Iraqi people the chance to achieve the capacity to defend their own freedom and create a new political landscape in the Middle East. "The President is absolutely right to argue a successful outcome in Iraq helps ensure our freedom and security for years to come. In addition, I agree with him that we should not establish an artificial time frame for withdrawal of American troops as it would be counter-productice to our efforts." ####

Jun 27 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement regarding the Supreme Court decisions on the Ten Commandments. Graham said: “I look forward to reviewing the Court’s decision as they came away with very different conclusions about the Kentucky and Texas cases. “Religion plays a fundamental role in our country. The idea that religion does not have a place in our public institutions has not been the history of our nation. The first people who came to America came for religious freedom. Their goal was to make sure you could worship God on your terms and the government would not take sides. “Displaying the Ten Commandments is just part of our history. Our Founding Fathers openly embraced God in their debate when writing the Constitution. Most of our laws are based on Judeo-Christian principles. So a public display of the Ten Commandments, in my opinion, is not the establishment of a religion. “The Ten Commandments are on the Supreme Court building. As the presiding officer of the Senate, right behind us it says ‘In God We Trust.’ ‘Under God’ is part of our pledge. The idea that God should be driven out of the public square is dangerous for the country.” #####

Jun 24 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Spartanburg and Spartanburg County will receive more than $3.2 million in housing grants. The City of Spartanburg will receive an $875,000 Community Development Block Grant, and $349,000 for the HOME Investment Partnership Program. Spartanburg County will receive a $1.4 million Community Development Block Grant, $564,500 for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and $19,900 for the American Dream Down Payment Initiative.
  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) develops communities and provides housing by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income households.
  • The HOME Investment Partnership Program creates affordable housing by allowing communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
  • The American Dream Down Payment Initiative promotes homeownership opportunities by providing necessary resources for down payment and closing cost assistance to lower-income and minority households.
The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Jun 24 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Aiken will receive a $243,337 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The CDBG program develops communities and provides housing by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income households. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Jun 24 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Columbia and Lexington County will receive more than $4.6 million in housing grants. The City of Columbia will receive a $1.47 million Community Development Block Grant, $1.16 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program, and $887,000 for the HOME Investment Partnership Program. Lexington County will receive a $1.12 Community Development Block Grant.
  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) develops communities and provides housing by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income households.
  • The HOME Investment Partnership Program creates affordable housing by allowing communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
  • The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program addresses the housing needs of persons diagnosed with AIDS.
The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Jun 23 2005

U.S. SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Just recently here in the Senate we've had a lot of time absorbed about what one member said that was, I thought, way out of bounds. That member apologized. That was good. There was a time when no one seemed to want to correct that statement. And some of the things that Senator Clinton said are really not helpful. We talk about losing the war and what it would mean. The only way, gentlemen, I see that we could possibly lose in Iraq is to leave the country in shambles, not prepared, not capable of defending itself and taking care of this new democracy; that if we left too soon, before they had a chance to get a functioning army and a functioning police force and to create honest judges and to have the rule of law, that we would put the whole world at risk. So to anyone, Republican or Democrat, who thinks that a timetable is the answer, I could not disagree more. How hard is it to create a country where everybody buys in? It's pretty hard. In 100 and something years, do the math, less than 100 years, we were in a civil war, started in my state. This is hard. How long does it take to get over a 1,400-year religious dispute? Probably a little longer between now and December. We have bought into a model that is extremely difficult, but the only answer, because you can't kill enough of these people. The model is to leave in Iraq the chance for them to govern themselves where moderation trumps terrorism, where mothers have a say about their children, where you can go to court based on what you did, not who you are. That is a very big challenge, and the only answer. So losing is leaving before the job is done. What would make us leave? The last time an American lost on the battlefield was when the Confederacy was defeated. We will not lose a battle. It is not a military problem in terms of losing. We will lose this war if we leave too soon. And what is likely to make us do that? The public going south. And that is happening. And that worries me greatly. So, Mr. Secretary, you've described the dynamic in 1946 I think very accurately. There was a lot of concern about reconstructing Europe after World War II. I see this engagement in Iraq very similar to a World War II endeavor, not Vietnam. This is not about trying to take sides in a dispute between a country. This is about taking sides between dispute between freedom-loving people and terrorists. Whether we should have been there or not is no longer the question. We're there. And the people who want us to leave are the same people who tried to kill us on September 11th. It is a World War II event, but the public views this every day, Mr. Secretary, more and more like Vietnam. Thirty-nine percent in the last poll support the idea that we should be there. What do you think is going on, and how can we correct that? SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUMSFELD: Senator, the members of this committee and everyone in this room and listening know the answer to that question as well as I do, and possibly better. Our system says that we place all our faith, all our hope in the people of the country, and that given sufficient information over time they'll find their way to right decisions. And I believe that. I've watched polls go from zero to 55 percent, back down to 15 percent in six weeks. And anyone who starts chasing polls is going to get seasick. GRAHAM : Do you believe this is an acute problem or a chronic problem, with the public support waning? RUMSFELD: An acute or a what? GRAHAM : Chronic problem. Because in the last year, sir, the public support in my state has turned, and I worry about that, because that's the only way we'll ever leave before we should, is if the public loses faith in us. And I'm here to tell you, sir, in the most patriotic state I can imagine, people are beginning to question. And I don't think it's a blip on the radar screen. I think we have a chronic problem on our hands. And if you disagree, I certainly respect that. RUMSFELD: Well, that's the time that leadership has to stand up and tell the truth. And if you're facing a head wind, you got two choices, you can turn around and go downwind or you can stand there and go into the wind, and that's what needs to be done. And we've got leadership in this country that are capable of doing that, let there be no doubt. And I think the American people have a good center of gravity. I think they have -- individually they have inner gyroscopes that may tilt from time to time, but they get recentered, and that they, given appropriate leadership and given continued success on the political and the security side in that country, I am absolutely convinced that we'll have the willpower and the staying power and the courage to do what's right there. The alternative is to turn that region back to darkness, to people who behead people. And that is not a happy prospect. GRAHAM: I could not agree more. One last thought. I have to go. General Abizaid, based on the military situation as you know it, what is the likelihood of the insurgents and the terrorists combined launching a Tet-type offensive where there are coordinated attacks throughout the country that would result in substantial of American or coalition lives? Because if that did happen, I really worry about the response in this country. GRAHAM: How likely is that? And what can we do to prevent it? GENERAL ABIZAID: Senator, I can tell you, and George will undoubtedly talk about this for Iraq in particular, but there is always a likelihood of a surprise militarily. There is always an opportunity for the enemy to figure out a way to inflict casualties, to grab the headlines. The challenge for us is to stay tough enough when that happens to see ourself through it. We can't be defeated by the headlines. We can't be defeated by this enemy. No doubt that they can do us damage. In Afghanistan right now, in particular, we're getting ready to go to an election in September. The enemy is coming as hard as they can. They have issued orders to everybody that they can get their hands on to try to disrupt this election, because they are so afraid of the election. But the violence won't win. JOHN WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator. CASEY: I'm sorry, Senator. If I could add to that... WARNER: Yes, General Casey, you may reply. CASEY: Senator, I'd just respond to that last question about Tet, I believe we have greatly reduced the potential of the capability for that to happen. And as I've listened here this afternoon, there seems to be some perception that the attacks have increased. Well, they have from the low levels they sank to after the elections. But last August, the attacks were over 800. Last November -- I'm sorry, per week -- they were over 900. The elections, over 800. We're talking for the last seven weeks they've been relatively constant at about between 450 and 500. So, I mean, we're less than half, almost half of where we were when it was really hard. So we have brought down that capability, and that's why the absence of a safe haven becomes so important. GRAHAM: Mr. Chairman, I would like to correct the perception that some people may have -- I did not disagree with what Senator Clinton said. I am all for us working together, and there are no bad Americans here. You know, whether you're liberal, moderate, conservative, you're not the enemy; the enemy is the people trying to kill us. #####

Jun 23 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Richland County School District One will receive a $2.5 million Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) Grant. The SLC program is designed to promote academic achievement through small, safe, and successful learning environments in large high schools. The funds will be used at Dreher High School and Lower Richland High School to build on the existing SLC programs. Dreher proposes to enhance opportunities in their existing Fine Arts, Health and Medicine, Finance and Business, Classical Studies, and Engineering programs. Lower Richland will expand their SLC activities across four career areas: Arts and Humanities, Health and Human Services, Engineering and Technology, and Business and Marketing. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Jun 22 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $500,000 in airport grants for Allendale County, Bamberg County, and the City of Sumter. Allendale County: Allendale County will receive $137,004 for the final construction of a parallel taxiway. Bamberg County: Bamberg County will receive $79,500 for the completion of the paving and lighting on the turn-around taxiway. City of Sumter: The City of Sumter will receive $300,000 for the final construction and rehabilitation phase of Runway 5/23. #####