Jan 17 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced nearly $250,000 in grants to fire departments in Aiken and Monetta.



“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.”



South Carolina 's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants,” 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:




Center Community Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $199,500 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant.





Monetta Community Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $50,070 Operations and Firefighter 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.



The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.





Jan 16 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been named the South Carolina Citizens for Life 2006 Legislator of the Year.

Graham earned the designation for, “personal efforts and attention to the passage of the South Carolina Unborn Victims of Violence Act signed into law on June 2, 2006, by Governor Mark Sanford.” During the debate in the South Carolina General Assembly, Graham made calls and urged both Republican and Democratic leaders to put aside their differences and pass Unborn Victims legislation on the state level.

South Carolina Citizens for Life also praised Graham for his work in Washington as the original author of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA). The legislation recognizes the mother and unborn child as victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of a federal crime.

After years of congressional wrangling and many distortions made by opponents of the legislation, the UVVA passed Congress and President Bush signed it into law on April 6, 2004. The National Right to Life Committee called the new federal law, “a landmark right-to-life victory.”

The Legislator of the Year designation was bestowed on Graham at the 34th Annual Stand up for Life March and Rally in Columbia on Saturday, January 13, 2007.



Jan 14 2007

The Path Forward in Iraq

The op-ed appeared in newspapers across South Carolina beginning January 14, 2007.

The battle for the future of Iraq is not about the political moment. It’s about the next decade and the decades to follow. It’s about securing a peaceful future for our nation. We have a lot on the line and it’s important we do everything possible to achieve Victory in Iraq. It is clear to everyone from President Bush on down that our old strategy has not led to a secure Iraq. Ever since al-Qaeda bombed the Golden Mosque, a Shiite holy site, the level of sectarian violence has escalated. The new plan introduced this week is controversial and has many critics and skeptics. I hope they will listen to the man who will carry out the new mission, General David Petraeus, when he testifies before Congress. He is an impressive leader and I’ve spoken with him about the path forward. He has confidence we can be successful. Unfortunately, some leaders such as Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have already suggested we take a completely different tack and begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. My question to them and others who support withdrawal and redeployment of American forces is, ‘What happens if we leave Iraq?’ A United States withdrawal or redeployment from the battle would leave Iraq in shambles. In all probability it would trigger a full-blown civil war encompassing the large parts of Iraq that are currently stable. It could lead to a wider regional conflict involving neighboring nations including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey and create a new safe haven for terrorist groups capable of striking the United States and our allies. We would face massive humanitarian disasters stemming from widespread revenge killings to ethnic cleansings. The extremists in the region, who already view the United States as a paper tiger would be emboldened. Withdrawing or redeploying from Iraq is not a sound, long-term policy for the national security of the United States. It is a recipe for defeat. We must change strategy or we are going to lose Iraq. We have made many mistakes and from the start we never had enough troops on the ground. We’ve paid dearly for allowing the security situation to steadily decrease and making political reconciliation by the Iraqis more difficult. For some time I have been calling for additional American troops, even though I know it could result in more casualties and sacrifice, to help in efforts to establish a democracy. While we have won every engagement against the insurgents our Clear, Hold, and Build strategy has not worked because we could not ‘Hold’ areas after they were ‘Cleared.’ Once we left, areas fell back into the insurgent’s control and violence escalated. You cannot establish democracy where you have militias stronger than the central government. You cannot have security when citizens don’t have faith in their central government to protect them. The five new brigades assigned to Baghdad will double our combat capability. They will assist the Iraqi forces in bringing about security and give the political leadership a reasonable chance to bring about stable government. One of the key political efforts is to reach agreement regarding the fair distribution of the oil revenues among the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds. A sharing of the wealth would give disenchanted Iraqis something to fight for, not against. President Bush has made it abundantly clear both the American and the Iraqi people are running out of patience. No amount of troops will change the future outcome unless Iraqi political leaders are willing to reach political accommodation. After five trips to Iraq, I believe many Iraqis are tired of the violence and seek a better way. Many have given their lives because of their willingness to serve their fellow citizens. Others remain afraid to come out of the shadows because chaos reigns. Over the coming weeks, Democrats and Republicans should be united around the fact that what happens in Iraq is directly tied to the future security of our nation. Do we want an Iraq at peace with its neighbors and an ally in the War on Terror? Or do we want an Iraq that is a safe haven for groups hostile to the United States, wracked by internal conflict and bloodshed, and a source of constant friction among neighboring nations? A final note, one of the highest reenlistment rates in the military is among those who have served in Iraq. I hope Congress and the American people will take this into consideration and ask themselves why their fellow American citizens – in the line of fire and in harms way – are so committed to this fight? They know history will not judge us on when we leave Iraq, but by what we leave behind. #####

Jan 10 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement tonight on President Bush’s address to the nation outlining his comprehensive new strategy for moving forward in Iraq. “We cannot afford to lose the war in Iraq. “President Bush makes a very persuasive case for strategy change. I appreciate his willingness to acknowledge past mistakes and chart a new course to achieve victory in Iraq. “We do not currently have combat capability to ‘Clear, Hold, and Build’ in parts of the country. And it’s clear we never had enough troops to bring about security after the fall of Baghdad. The supplemental combat capability proposed by President Bush will help Iraqis control their streets and rid them of insurgents. It is a much needed change. “We must get a handle on the security situation in Iraq. You cannot establish a democracy when you have militias stronger than the central government. You cannot establish security when the citizens don’t have faith in their central government to protect them from violence. “I am also pleased the President outlined positive steps to address rampant unemployment, set benchmarks for the Iraqi leadership, and involve friendly neighboring states in achieving a positive outcome. Iraqi political leaders understand this is their last chance to make adjustments to secure their country. I believe they will. “Unfortunately, some in Congress want to cut off funding or cap troop levels so we cannot send additional troops to Iraq. We must not compound past mistakes by withdrawing or redeploying American forces from Iraq. To do so would send a heart-breaking signal to the moderates in the region and those in Iraq fighting for their freedom. “Taking drastic steps like those suggested by some of my Democratic colleagues--Congress basically declaring the war as lost--would be a disaster for our national security interests and are a recipe for defeat. These policies must not be adopted.” ####

Jan 09 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced two wildlife habitat conservation projects in South Carolina will receive $8.6 million in federal grant money.  The funds will help enable the state to purchase two environmentally significant tracts of land. 



"One of South Carolina ’s greatest treasures is the natural beauty of our surroundings,” said Graham.  “We have a responsibility to help ensure our state’s natural resources are preserved for the benefit of future generations.  These are two very important conservation projects.  I’m very pleased we were able to secure federal funding to protect both of these environmentally significant tracts of land.”



The federal funds will be redirected from already completed land acquisition projects. . 



The projects include:



  • $4.45 million to purchase the Woodbury Wildlife Management Area.  The Woodbury tract, covering 25,668 acres, will protect 27.5 miles of river frontage along the Great Pee Dee River and 11.5 miles of frontage along the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County .  



  • $4.15 million to purchase the Hamilton Ridge Wildlife Management Area along the Savannah River in Hampton County .  This tract of 13,281 acres is adjacent to 12,600 acres of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)-owned Wildlife Management Areas known as Webb and Palachucola.  Protection of Hamilton Ridge will double the protected acreage in this block and add another 8.5 miles to the existing 5 miles of state-protected frontage on the Savannah River



Both protected areas will be placed in the SCDNR Wildlife Management Area program and will be open to the public for traditional outdoor recreational opportunities such as birding, nature walking, hunting, and fishing. 



Graham credited his Senate and House colleagues for their work on this project.



“This was a team effort,” said Graham.  “It would not have happened without support from Jim DeMint, Henry Brown, Joe Wilson, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  I truly appreciate their efforts.”



Graham noted that Governor Sanford hopes to add $20 million to a state fund to buy and preserve forest, wetlands and other wilderness areas in South Carolina .



“Conserving natural resources unifies South Carolinians from the coast to the mountains,” said Graham.  “We must be wise about preserving the natural beauty of our state for future generations. Today, we have taken another big step forward.”





Jan 05 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the nomination of Mike McConnell to be the Director of National Intelligence. “Admiral McConnell has an outstanding resume. He comes highly recommended from a variety of sources for his national security and intelligence experience. I look forward to meeting him and hope he will be well-received by the Senate. “All South Carolinians are very proud a Greenville native has achieved so much and is seen by President Bush as capable of handing one of the most important jobs in government. “In the fight against terrorism, the Director of National Intelligence is of critical importance. The DNI is our first line of defense in disrupting terrorist plots against our nation. Since 9/11 our intelligence gathering capabilities have improved, but there remains more to be done. We have to be perfect in stopping terrorist attacks one hundred percent of the time. They only have to be right once.” #####

Dec 30 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on on the execution of Saddam Hussein. "This act of justice being rendered came as the result of great sacrifice by coalition forces and great resolve by the Iraqi people who were victimized for decades by Saddam's tyranny. Dictators like Saddam Hussein thrive when good people with the capacity to act fail to do so. In this case, a brutal dictator met his fate because good people, both inside and outside of Iraq, acted to bring his tyranny to an end. "The task of replacing tyranny with a functioning democracy is exceedingly difficult, but worth the effort. I hope people yearning to be free from tyranny will take this event as a sign of hope. And those who maintain power through tyranny understand the world is changing and they could be next. "After five visits to Iraq and having observed last year's election, I'm convinced the extremists and radicals creating chaos in Iraq can and will be defeated. The vast majority of Iraqis want to reconcile their country and live in freedom. The moderate forces within Iraq continue to need American assistance in greater levels than are currently being provided. Additional American combat capacity will empower moderates in Iraq and be a blow to the radical and extremist forces. Now is the time to reinforce Iraq so moderate political leaders will have the ability to suppress radical and extremist forces representing a minority of the country." #####

Dec 29 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passing of James Brown. "James Brown’s music was the voice of a generation and his impact on American music is immeasurable. I will always remember him performing at a luncheon announcing Strom Thurmond and Bob Dole's endorsement of my Senate campaign. To have shared the stage with two political giants and the Godfather of Soul is a memory that will last a lifetime." ####

Dec 28 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Cooley Springs Fire Department in Chesnee will receive a $142,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program grant. The SAFER Program assists in the hiring of full time firefighters and supports the recruitment and retention of volunteer fire fighters. “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 recruit and retain dedicated professionals.” “South Carolina's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families every day. I'm pleased they have been awarded these competitive grants that will assist in hiring more firefighters,” said Senator DeMint. The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####