Aug 02 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the City of Spartanburg will receive a $397,416 grant to combat domestic violence. The grant will support Spartanburg’s collaborative effort with Safe Homes-Rape Crisis to implement a multi-disciplinary response to investigate and prosecute domestic violence cases. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Aug 02 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Anderson Regional Airport will receive a $2.65 million grant for airport improvements. The funds will be used for the final phase of a runway and taxiway extension, and to relocate the medium intensity approach lighting system. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Aug 01 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on President Bush’s recess appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. “I completely support the President’s decision to make a recess appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. He is the right person at the right time to reform the UN. “I am extremely disappointed President Bush had to resort to a recess appointment. However, I believe it is important the President not allow Democrats to void the results of the last election. The filibustering of John Bolton was inappropriate as he has been confirmed by the Senate on four previous occasions. “The world desperately needs a functioning United Nations that is free of corruption and operates efficiently, both of which are lacking at the current moment. John Bolton has the credentials and abilities to right the ship and is an excellent choice as UN Ambassador.” ####

Jul 29 2005

WASHINGTON – South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today voted in support of the Interior Appropriations bill. The bill passed the Senate and will now be sent to the President for his signature. Among the notable projects for South Carolina include: Columbia: $200,000 to the Bethel Cultural Arts Center Greer: $500,000 to the Maple Creek Water Treatment Plant Myrtle Beach: $615,000 to the Myrtle Beach Storm Water Management System Olar & Govan: $733,000 to the Olar & Govan Regional Water System Orangeburg: $350,000 to the dam project at the National Fish Hatchery. The funds will also be used to help complete the water line construction project at the National Conservation Training Center. Statewide Projects Include: $800,000 to the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor ####

Jul 29 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will vote in support of the Energy bill which is expected to pass the Senate today. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives. The legislation has been a top priority for President Bush since taking office in 2001 and he is expected to sign it into law. The energy bill is a comprehensive national energy policy that seeks to balance domestic energy production with conservation and efficiency efforts. It will also make us less dependent on foreign sources of oil. “This is the biggest legislative breakthrough we have had since I have been in the Senate,” said Graham. “The passage of the energy bill will make us less dependent on Middle East oil, expand and diversify our energy resources, and provide billions for hydrogen research.” Graham noted the legislation contains more than $3.5 billion in funding over the next 5 years for hydrogen research. The hydrogen provision in the bill was largely based upon language authored by Graham and North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) which was introduced in the Senate earlier this year. “Our state is a national leader in hydrogen research,” said Graham. “USC is developing fuel cells, Clemson is working on hydrogen vehicles, and Savannah River Site (SRS) is a leading research facility on hydrogen technologies. What Detroit was to the automotive industry, South Carolina can be to hydrogen.” South Carolina is on the cutting edge of hydrogen research and hydrogen holds the potential to be the new fuel for the 21st Century,” 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.” Graham also praised the nuclear energy provisions in the bill. “This is the biggest move forward for nuclear power in decades by providing tax incentives and research funding to build 21st Century reactors,” said Graham. “Nuclear energy is a clean source of power and one we need to utilize more in the coming years.” “Unfortunately, changes in energy policy will not mean people at the pump will see an immediate decrease in their gas 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. This bill is a big step in the right direction. It meets the major objectives of producing and conserving more energy, diversifying our energy supply, and employing the latest technology to deliver energy. ” #####

Jul 29 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The bill would shield makers of firearms from lawsuits intended to drive them out of business. “I’m pleased Congress has decided to not hold gun manufacturers liable for a criminal’s misuse of a gun,” said Graham. “It’s truly absurd that a gun manufacturer or dealer could be sued because a criminal uses their product in the commission of a crime. It’s the criminal who needs to be held accountable for their actions, not the gun manufacturer.” Graham noted that since 1997 more than 30 cities and counties have sued firearms companies. This has cost the industry over $200 million in legal fees even though most of the cases have been dismissed. The lawsuits are designed to severely weaken or eradicate the firearms and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States. “Gun manufacturers and dealers are highly regulated and responsible for following the law,” said Graham. “Passage of this legislation will end these frivolous suits which are driving gun manufacturers out of the business and out of the United States.” “I’m also glad we acted because our national security is at stake,” said Graham. “Some of the gun manufacturers who were targets of these frivolous lawsuits also provide firearms to our men and women in the U.S Armed Forces.” ####

Jul 28 2005

HIGHWAY BILL DELIVERS OVER $125 MILLION TO 1st DISTRICT

Brown, Graham, DeMint Help Secure Needed Funds

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

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $5,802,326 grant to support crime prevention and control activates. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant will be used to improve cooperative efforts among federal, state, and local agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Funds will primarily be used to address the lack of resources available to law enforcement. In addition, money will be spent to improve criminal justice records, court system efficiency, substance abuse treatment, and crime prevention. Graham noted that several cities and one county were also awarded grants under the same program yesterday:
  • The City of Aiken will receive $14,282 to purchase nine computers which will allow officers in the field to download information to the main computer in the station.
  • The City of Conway will receive $21,843 to purchase a digital recording system to be placed in the dispatch center.
  • The City of North Myrtle Beach will receive $10,722 to purchase tasers.
  • Sumter County will receive $59,529 to purchase mobile data terminals, tasers, and bullet proof vests.
  • The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Jul 28 2005

Highway Bill Nearer Budget Target

Betters South Carolina's Return Ratio; Has Funds for Needed Projects

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 28 2005

Graham, DeMint to Help Pass Highway Bill

Legislation Restrains Spending, Benefits South Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, South Carolina’s Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint announced their support for the House-Senate highway conference report. 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. “I’m very pleased we were able to get a deal that is more responsible for taxpayers,” said Senator DeMint, a member of the House and Senate conference committee. “This bill is not perfect but it’s a good step forward. I would have liked it to spend even less overall and to return even more to South Carolina, but this bill is a good compromise that stays within the budget and provides important benefits for our state.” “The highway bill is very good news for motorists in South Carolina,” said 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’m also pleased we were able to do it without breaking the federal bank. The bill is more fiscally responsible than the first version of the highway bill Senator DeMint and I voted against.” In May, Senators DeMint and Graham voted against the original version of the bill that significantly exceeded budget authority. Their opposition, along with a veto threat from the President, pressured negotiators to agree on a more responsible bill that limits the six-year cost to $286.4 billion from fiscal year 2004 through fiscal 2009. Negotiators originally wanted to pass a $375 billion bill but the final compromise was much less, saving taxpayers over billions of dollars. The highway conference report includes several important benefits for South Carolina secured by Senators Graham and DeMint. Under the new highway program, a better formula will return more federal gas tax dollars to South Carolina. South Carolina will ultimately receive 92 percent back on every dollar it sends to Washington in gas taxes, which is a meaningful increase from the 90.5 percent the state has received since 1998. The bill authorizes a total of over $2.9 billion for South Carolina over the six-year life of the program, an increase of nearly twenty-eight percent. The conference report also includes a new safety program that will give states greater flexibility in addressing safety needs. This program will provide for safety improvements such as adding rumble strips, widening lanes, installing guard rails, and creating additional signage. All public roads are eligible for this new safety funding, benefiting states like South Carolina that have a high percentage of state-maintained roads. “This bill accomplishes one of my top goals for the year by giving our state more control over our highway dollars,” DeMint said. “But much more still needs to be done. I hope that the next reauthorization will address serious reforms and give states full control over their highways. The federal program was created to develop an interstate highway system, but that system has been created and now we need to let the states run it.” “I truly appreciate the work done by Jim [DeMint] and Henry [Brown] on the highway bill,” said Graham. “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.” In addition to several important policy changes the conference report provides a fair share for South Carolina by authorizing over $2.9 billion in funding for transportation and infrastructure projects all across South Carolina. Specifically, the bill provides for $81 million in authorized funding for I-73 in the Pee Dee, $26.6 million for US-278 in Beaufort County, $11.6 million for the Palmetto Parkway in Aiken County, $6.8 million for Highway 9 in Spartanburg County, $4 million for Highway 5 in York County, among many others. ######