Oct 08 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the 2nd presidential debate. "The challenger must make the case the incumbent should be fired and they are capable of meeting the challenges of the office they are seeking. Tonight, John Kerry failed on both accounts. "President Bush commanded the room demonstrating leadership qualities in the domestic and foreign policy arena that fit the troubling times we are in. He convincingly demonstrated that his domestic and foreign policy accomplishments and goals have America moving in the right direction to make us safer and stronger. "Senator Kerry tonight, and through 20 years of service in the Senate, constantly embraced a domestic agenda couched in class warfare and big government liberalism. His foreign policy agenda relies on failed U.N. policies which do not comprehend the nature of our enemy. He also does not strongly embrace the concept that democracy and freedom are the only antidotes to terror. "By belittling of our allies and the sacrifices of the Iraqi people who are dying for their freedom, he sends the wrong message at the wrong time." #####

Oct 08 2004

WASHINGTON – Cleanup efforts at Savannah River Site (SRS) scored a big victory as a House-Senate conference committee on the defense authorization bill adopted language allowing the efforts to continue. SRS is currently home to more than 37 million gallons of liquid waste. Ninety-nine percent of the waste would be removed from the tanks and turned into glass logs for eventual shipment to the permanent long-term storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some residual waste will remain in the tank and be mixed with concrete and grout. The state of South Carolina, in consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), will have oversight over the low-level material. South Carolina will also have the final authority to issue or deny a permit for the tank’s closure. Two of the Site’s 51 tanks were closed in a similar manner in the late 1990’s under the Clinton Administration. The provision also calls for a third review, this one conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), on the cleanup process. The NRC and Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFS) have already completed reviews and determined the process to be safe. “This is a big day for environmental cleanup in South Carolina,” said Graham. “The agreement between the state and the Department of Energy ensures the tanks will be cleaned up in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner. Because of this agreement, we’re looking to do it 23 years ahead of schedule and at a cost savings to the taxpayer of almost $16 billion. It’s a good plan for the Site, state, and the nation.” Graham noted the cleanup efforts had been supported by a broad coalition of South Carolinians including Governor Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Attorney General Henry McMaster, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives David Wilkins, Democrats and Republicans in the Aiken County legislative delegation, the mayor of Aiken, the chairman of the Aiken County Council, the mayor of Jackson, the SRS Retiree Association, and local Chambers of Commerce. “Tank cleanup efforts at the Site have been at a virtual standstill,” said Graham. “It’s long past time we get the cleanup efforts moving forward again to protect our environment. Every day we delay just increases the risk to the local community and the Savannah River that these tanks, some of them fifty years old, will leak and create even greater problems down the road.” “I’m very pleased state leaders came together to allow the site to be cleaned up decades earlier than expected,” said Graham. “"Governor Sanford deserves much credit for supporting policies that make environmental and economic sense to become reality. He is a thoughtful and courageous leader." “We’ve come too far in our efforts to clean up the Site, using good science and sound economics, to be deterred by special interest groups who want to put cleanup on hold,” said Graham. The House of Representatives and Senate are expected to overwhelmingly approve the legislation and President Bush is expected to sign it into law. #####

Oct 06 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina.) “Last night’s debate was not only a contrast in styles but also of substance. Senator Edwards is a gifted lawyer and if one needed to be represented in a North Carolina courtroom, he would be up to the task. “However, if the need is to have someone explain to the nation and the world the War on Terror, its roots, and solutions, then Dick Cheney is the clear choice. In ninety minutes, he demonstrated a depth and experience level unmatched in the history of the Vice Presidency. “In the most important moment of the debate, Vice President Cheney turned toward Senator Edwards and forcefully stated that Senator John Kerry and Edwards have totally discounted the Iraqi’s contribution to their own freedom. They have been dying in droves trying to free their country from terrorists. “The Vice President made the most compelling case yet that for the last thirty years Senator Kerry has been on the wrong side of history when dealing with foreign policy matters. His statement in the 1970’s that America should never go to war without United Nations approval is dangerous and naive. His one-man effort to dismantle President Reagan’s military build up in the 1980’s will be viewed in history as out of touch with the times. His decision to vote against a war resolution authorizing the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 was not only a dangerous misunderstanding of the threat we faced, but demonstrated a lack of resolve to deal with tyrants. “Finally, the Vice President provided an accurate and telling description of Senators Kerry and Edwards no votes regarding the $87 billion funding request to provide our troops the means necessary to fight in Iraq as a politically motivated reaction to Howard Dean. It was the most damaging evidence that Senator Kerry does not have the conviction to make the hard decisions to fight a ruthless enemy. “If last night proved nothing else, it’s that whining pessimism for ninety minutes is not the makings of a great nation. Realistic optimism is essential to rally the nation and world to win this war on terror. “Senator Edwards’s attacks were over the top in their pessimism and factually incorrect. The Vice President’s realistic assessment of progress being made against this ruthless enemy is not only justified, it is the winning formula to bring this enemy to account.” #####

Oct 05 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Chester and Clarendon County Schools will receive Safe Schools/Healthy Students grants.
  • Chester County School District will receive a $956,753 grant.
  • Clarendon County School District Two will receive a $954,017 grant.
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative provides funding to implement a comprehensive plan of activities, programs, and services focused on promoting healthy childhood development and preventing violence, alcohol and drug abuse. Under the program, school districts partner with the community’s local public mental health authority, law enforcement, and juvenile justice entities. Safe Schools/Healthy Students is a joint initiative between the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Justice. The grants were awarded by the Department of Education. ####

Oct 04 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has introduced legislation making human traffickers eligible for the death penalty. The U.S. Department of State estimates more than a million women and children are trafficked around the world each year, generally for the purpose of domestic servitude, sweatshop labor, or sexual exploitation. The practice generates an estimated $9.5 billion a year. “Traffickers, just like alien smugglers, through unabashed acts of profiteering, endanger the lives of countless aliens while compromising the integrity of our immigration laws,” said Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victims Rights. “Make no mistake, the incentives for human smugglers are enormous.” Graham’s subcommittee held a hearing on the issue last July. At any given time, the State Department estimates thousands of people are in the smuggling pipeline, with the United States being the primary target. Smugglers and traffickers deliver some 50,000 aliens here annually. “Traffickers kidnap their victims, move them across borders, and then enslave them,” said Graham. “We must ensure the punishments for trafficking crimes are such that the risks of apprehension, prosecution and punishment far outweigh the payday. The best way to do that is the vigorous prosecution and harsh punishment.” Under current law, a person found guilty of alien smuggling where death results is subject to the full range of punishments including the death penalty. However, if death results from a trafficking offense, the defendant is not subject to the death penalty. “We must not allow otherwise innocent men, women, and children to be abused and killed by those who seek to profit from the desperation of others,” said Graham. “We should bring the punishment in line with this horrendous practice.” ####

Sep 30 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement after papers were filed with the U.S. Trade Representatives office charging China with violating trade law by intentionally manipulating their currency. Graham made the following statement: “I appreciate the efforts by the Bush Administration to stop the Chinese government’s practice of manipulating their currency to create a discount for their products. “China pegs their currency to the dollar in an artificially low manner, creating a 15-40 percent discount. The value of China’s currency needs to be adjusted or set by the marketplace, like every other major economic power. “The practice of currency manipulation is adversely affecting American manufacturing and constitutes an unfair trade practice. That is why I am joining with other Congressional colleagues and filing a 301 trade practices complaint against China with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. “While some progress has been made on this issue, the abuse has gone on too long and caused much damage to our manufacturing economy. Initiating a 301 case is the appropriate response and I hope it will be taken seriously by the U.S. Trade Representative.” #####

Sep 30 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Darkness to Light, headquartered in Charleston, will receive a $461,208 grant to help combat child sexual abuse. The funds will be used to develop and implement a web-based training program to help employees and volunteers of youth/faith organizations prevent, recognize and respond to child sexual abuse. Adults who complete the online training program will be educated about the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse. As part of the program, each participant develops a personal ‘action plan’ to better safeguard children. The online training includes creative learning exercises and innovative experiential scenarios to teach adults how to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and what to do when abuse is discovered. At the end of every training program, participants are given a test to assess how much they have learned and where there is need for further review. With this training program adults around the country can be properly informed about child sexual abuse and provided with the necessary tools to protect children. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. ####

Sep 30 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced grants to Blacksburg, Greenville, and Reevesville. “Firefighters risk their lives to protect others, and they deserve the best equipment and training available,” said Graham. “Firefighters are some of the heroes in our midst.” The grants are awarded in one of two program areas:
  • Firefighting 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.
Blacksburg Antioch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $125,010 Firefighting Vehicle grant. Greenville Duncan Chapel Fire District will receive $102,395 Firefighting Operations and Safety grant. Reevesville Reevesville Volunteer Fire Department will receive $65,863 Firefighting Operations and Safety 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. Grant funds to local fire departments will come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

Sep 29 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the University of South Carolina (USC) will receive a $2,158,370 grant to conduct hydrogen research. The grant will enable the university to focus on the production, storage, and uses of hydrogen. Hydrogen is viewed as a fuel source capable of lessening our nation’s dependence on oil from the Middle East. At USC and other institutions around the state, research into hydrogen and its ability to power everything from automobiles to power plants has intensified. In the U.S. Senate, Graham serves as co-chairman of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus, a bipartisan group of twelve Senators dedicated to pushing hydrogen research forward. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. #####

Sep 28 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, today announced schools in Charleston and Lancaster counties have been selected to receive education grants.
  • Charleston County School District will receive $2,223,201.
  • Lancaster County School District will receive $398,793.
The grants from the Smaller Learning Communities Program will cover the period October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2007. The purpose of the Smaller Learning Communities Program is to promote academic achievement through the planning, implementation or expansion of small, safe and successful learning environments in public schools. The program also aims to help ensure all students graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a successful transition to college and careers. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. #####