Nov 22 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Third Congressional District Representative Gresham Barrett (R-Westminster) say they are pleased Congress appropriated funds to push the MOX (Mixed Oxide Fuel) program forward as soon as liability issues with the Russian Federation are resolved and keep the cleanup efforts at Savannah River Site (SRS) moving full-speed ahead. The funding was approved by the Congress this weekend and President Bush is expected to sign it into law in the coming days. Funding for the Site includes: MOX: The only location in the United States where surplus weapons-grade plutonium will be converted in nuclear fuel, SRS will receive $300.3 million for MOX. The figure includes $268 million for construction of the MOX Fuel Fabrication facility and $32.3 million for the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility. The spending bill also included a language expressing Congress’ commitment to ensuring the liability issues with the Russians be resolved as soon as possible. CLEANUP and WASTE STORAGE: Under a plan approved earlier this year, the Site will receive an additional $162.2 million in accelerated cleanup funding to continue the cleanup, removal, and storage of approximately 37 million gallons of waste contained in 49 underground storage tanks at the Site. The figure includes $23.658 million for design and procurement of the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) and $26 million for construction costs. The SWPF is the lynchpin in separating the wastes in tanks for ultimate disposition. Earlier this year Graham and Barrett worked together, along with Governor Mark Sanford and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), to adopt language allowing cleanup efforts to continue at the Site after being blocked by an Idaho court ruling. The legislative fix was signed into law by President Bush on October 28. SRS will receive $43.827 million for a second Glass Waste Storage building. The Site will receive about $1.15 billion for all cleanup and operation efforts. MODERN PIT FACILITY: The Site will receive $7 million for design work on a Modern Pit Facility (MPF). TRITIUM EXTRACTION: The Site will receive $21 million for the tritium extraction facility. “Overall, it’s been a good year for the Site in terms of funding and policy,” said Graham. “We’ve put the funding in place for construction of the MOX facility and now we just need the liability issues resolved. The Bush Administration understands how important it is we get this project moving so we can take this material off the market and terrorists cannot get their hands on it. The quicker we can get our MOX facilities up and running the better.” “In a time of tight budgets and war, I'm pleased with the funding we were able to secure for the Savannah River Site,” said Barrett. “We accomplished a lot this year for the site and the funding provided will allow the site to move forward with important missions such as MOX, MPF and clean up.” “We’re making progress in cleaning up the Cold War legacy of the Site,” said Graham. “The WIR fix, which has already been signed into law, gave us the legal green light to move full-speed ahead on cleanup. The funding in this budget gives us the financial resources to ensure we can go at that pace. I’m very pleased with what we’ve been able to do for the Site this year and the entire South Carolina delegation should be commended.” #####

Nov 20 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the spending bill that finances most federal agencies. The vote in the Senate was 65-30. A similar measure was passed by the House of Representatives today, and a vote on the final version will occur next week. President Bush should sign it into law. The measure covers the government budget year that started October 1 and is a compilation of nine separate bills financing all federal agencies except the Department of Defense and the Homeland Security Department. “I am pleased that my colleagues have come together in a bipartisan fashion to finish the work on the federal budget,” said Graham. “Every Senator was asked to give up some projects and make sacrifices for the common good.” “I would like to thank my colleague, Senator Hollings, and all the members of the delegation for working together to benefit all South Carolinians,” said Graham. The projects for the upstate and piedmont regions of South Carolina include: Aiken County:
  • $1 million for Palmetto Parkway Phase 2.
  • $1 million for the North Augusta Riverfront Road Extension.
Anderson County:
  • $1 million for the East Reed Road conversion project.
  • $300,000 for Cox Road Bridge.
  • $250,000 for the Murray/Franklin Street Housing Project.
  • $248,000 for the McClellan Road Bridge.
  • $184,000 for Fire Station Road Bridge.
Clemson University
  • $1.2 million for Clemson to study the effect of changing land use on the environment.
  • $267,000 to study the peach tree short life in southeastern peach orchards.
  • $271,000 for research and development of innovative pest control techniques.
  • $250,000 for Call Me Mister
Edgefield
  • $250,000 for the Wild Turkey Federation Winchester Conservation Museum.
Greenville County:
  • $1.75 million for Greenville County bridges.
  • $200,000 to Greenville Technical College for the forensics lab.
  • $100,000 for the communications system for the county.
Greenwood
  • $250,000 to the City of Greenwood for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
Pickens County:
  • $250,000 for the North B Street intersection.
  • $200,000 for Old Central Bridge.
Spartanburg County:
  • $3 million for the I-85 and Brockman-McClimon interchange and connections.
  • $1.075 million to the City of Spartanburg for rail crossing mitigation.
  • $300,000 to the City of Wellford for sewer and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
  • $200,000 to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind for dorm renovations.
York County:
  • $650,000 to York Technical College for the National Precision Metalworking Center of Excellence.
  • $291,000 to Clinton Junior College for the construction of a new library/classroom facility.
Other Projects of Note:
  • $3 million for the Catawba-Wateree Forest.
  • $3.8 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for general construction at Lake Hartwell.
  • $900,000 for the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Discovery Sites.
#####

Nov 20 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the spending bill that finances most federal agencies. The vote in the Senate was 65-30. A similar measure was passed by the House of Representatives today, and a vote on the final version will occur next week. President Bush should sign it into law. The measure covers the government budget year that started October 1 and is a compilation of nine separate bills financing all federal agencies except the Department of Defense and the Homeland Security Department. “I am pleased that my colleagues have come together in a bipartisan fashion to finish the work on the federal budget,” said Graham. “Every Senator was asked to give up some projects and make sacrifices for the common good.” “I would like to thank my colleague, Senator Hollings, and all the members of the delegation for working together to benefit all South Carolinians,” said Graham. The projects for the Midlands and central South Carolina include: Bamberg County:
  • $750,000 to the towns of Olar and Govan for water infrastructure improvements.
  • $400,000 to the Bamberg County Sheriffs Department for law enforcement technology.
Chester County:
  • $800,000 to the Chester County Sewer District for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
  • $400,000 to the Chester County Sewer District for infrastructure upgrades to the Lando Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Columbia:
  • $1.5 million for North Main Street improvements.
  • $1 million to the Richland County Sheriffs Office for the Regional Fugitive Task Force.
  • $1 million for Harden Street improvements.
  • $600,000 for Assembly Street improvements.
  • $400,000 to the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center for facilities, equipment, and rural health care services at its Ridgeway health center.
  • $400,000 to Engenuity to promote the growth and development of knowledge-based businesses in Richland and Lexington counties.
  • $250,000 for the Richland County ScoutReach program
  • $200,000 to Big Brothers/Big Sisters for community and school based mentoring programs.
  • $100,000 to the South Carolina Office of Rural Health for facilities and equipment.
  • $100,000 to Silver Ring Thing to establish an innovative abstinence program.
  • $100,000 to the City of Columbia for the Capitalization of Enterprise revolving loan fund.
  • $100,000 to the City of Columbia for industrial park development.
University of South Carolina:
  • $10 million to Cooper Library.
  • $5 million for the Strom Thurmond Fitness and Wellness Center.
  • $275,000 to the Arnold School of Public Health for the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities.
Fairfield County:
  • $250,000 to Fairfield Memorial Hospital in Winnsboro for facilities and equipment
Hopkins:
  • $6 million to SCDNR for an expansion of the Congaree National Park.
Kershaw County:
  • $1 million for wastewater infrastructure improvements.
  • $225,000 for the I-20 corridor wastewater treatment plant expansion infrastructure project.
Lexington County:
  • $600,000 for the Lexington Connector study.
Manning:
  • $200,000 for law enforcement technologies
Orangeburg County:
  • $750,000 for the Orangeburg railroad realignment project.
St. Matthews:
  • $200,000 for the St. Matthews Police Department methamphetamine initiative.
South Carolina State University:
  • $3 million for the SC State University Transportation Center.
  • $350,000 for the science complex.
Sumter County:
  • $145,000 to the South Sumter Resource Center for facilities construction and renovation.
Voorhees College:
  • $100,000 to establish a tele-health system.
Other Projects of Note:
  • $14 million to the South Carolina Judicial Department for a case docket system.
  • $4 million for South Carolina Department of Transportation buses and bus facilities.
  • $2.5 million to South Carolina Department of Transportation for the InRoads project.
  • $2.5 million for Briggs-DeLaine-Pearson Connector.
  • $900,000 for the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Discovery Sites.
  • $800,000 for the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s Older Drivers and Pedestrian Signage Demonstration Project.
  • $250,000 to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice for statewide technology enhancements.
####

Nov 20 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the spending bill that finances most federal agencies. The vote in the Senate was 65-30. A similar measure was passed by the House of Representatives today, and a vote on the final version will occur next week. President Bush should sign it into law. The measure covers the government budget year that started October 1 and is a compilation of nine separate bills financing all federal agencies except the Department of Defense and the Homeland Security Department. “I am pleased that my colleagues have come together in a bipartisan fashion to finish the work on the federal budget,” said Graham. “Every Senator was asked to give up some projects and make sacrifices for the common good.” “I would like to thank my colleague, Senator Hollings, and all the members of the delegation for working together to benefit all South Carolinians,” said Graham. The projects for the Lowcountry and Pee Dee of South Carolina include: Beaufort County:
  • $2 million for US 278.
  • $200,000 to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for facilities and equipment.
Bennettsville:
  • $36 million for the activation of a new prison facility.
Berkeley County:
  • $20 million towards land acquisition for Bonneau Ferry.
Charleston:
  • $20 million for a cooperative agreement between MUSC and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies for construction of research facilities.
  • $14 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance at Charleston Harbor.
  • $10 million for the Medical University of South Carolina oncology center.
  • $5 million for Project Seahawk to enhance intermodal security and law enforcement within our nation’s coastal cities.
  • $4 million dollars to the Medical University of South Carolina for buses and bus facilities.
  • $3.3 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance of the Cooper River/Charleston Harbor.
  • $3 million to the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory.
  • $2 million for Water Missions International, a faith-based nonprofit engineering organization, to develop clean water treatment projects in developing countries.
  • $2 million to the College of Charleston for the School of Science and Mathematics
  • $1.5 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for the deepening and widening of Charleston Harbor.
  • $1 million for the King Street and Spring Cannon Corridor.
  • $700,000 to From Darkness to Light, of which $450,000 is to develop an online training and certificate program to prevent child sexual abuse.
  • $350,000 to the Army Corp of Engineers for general construction at Folly Beach.
  • $275,000 to the Advanced Technology Institute for a demonstration program of diabetes diagnostic and care services through tele-health technology.
  • $250,000 to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for study of the ‘Charleston Bump’
  • $250,000 for Charleston CPW for wastewater tunnel replacement.
  • $250,000 for the American College of the Building Arts for curriculum development, educational facility, and equipment.
  • $250,000 to Charleston Southern University for facilities and equipment.
  • $250,000 to Trident Technical College to equip the hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts program.
  • $225,000 to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance of the Folly River.
  • $100,000 for restoration and preservation of the C.S.S. Hunley.
Colleton County:
  • $50,000 to the Colleton County Memorial Library for books and library materials.
Dillon County:
  • $1 million to the Dillon County Airport for land acquisition and runway construction
Florence County:
  • $1.5 million for the I-95/SC 327 interchange.
  • $500,000 for law enforcement technologies.
  • $50,000 to USDA ARS Florence for funding to continue animal waste treatment efforts.
Georgetown County:
  • $3.48 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance at Georgetown Harbor.
  • $1 million to the Georgetown County Airport for various improvements.
  • $145,000 to Five Rivers Community Development Corporation for land acquisition.
  • $28,000 to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance at Murrells Inlet.
Horry County:
  • $500,000 to Horry County Airport to conduct an airport study.
Jasper County:
  • $200,000 to the Town of Ridgeland for the Wagon Branch Water Project.
Lee County:
  • $1.5 million for Bishopville Bypass construction.
  • $97,000 to the Lee County Public Library for facilities expansion and relocation.
Mt. Pleasant:
  • $750,000 for the US 17 and Bowman Road interchange improvements.
  • $150,000 to Mt. Pleasant Waterworks for the Rural Roads Gravity Wastewater Extension Project.
Myrtle Beach:
  • $4 million for I-73.
  • $500,000 to the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation for a new storm water drainage system.
  • $125,000 for expansion of the Myrtle Beach International Convention Center.
Walterboro:
  • $1.6 million to the Lowcountry Regional Airport for the installation of an Instrument Landing System on Runway 23.
Williamsburg County:
  • $39.47 million for prison opening.
  • $50,000 to the Williamsburg County Library in Kingstree for books, library materials, and computers.
Other Projects of Note:
  • $3 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for general construction at Lakes Moultrie and Marion.
  • $2.5 million to the Army Corp of Engineers for operations and maintenance of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
  • $1.25 million to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for land acquisition within the Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge.
  • $850,000 for Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
  • $900,000 for the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Discovery Sites.
  • $500,000 to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources southeastern regional taxonomic center for marine and estuarine organisms.
  • $500,000 to National Oceanic and Atmospheric for a geodetic survey in South Carolina.
  • $200,000 to NOAA for debris removal.
####

Nov 18 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $330,000 in grants to fire departments in Summerville, Travelers Rest, and West Columbia. “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 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: Summerville Pine Ridge Fire Department will receive a $94,928 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant. Travelers Rest Tigerville Fire District will receive a $225,000 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant. West Columbia South Congaree Fire Department will receive a $13,500 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. ####

Nov 18 2004

WASHINGTON -- Social Security modernization proponents have received a boost from an unlikely source – the very agency charged with administering the program -- after the agency completed an analysis of legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). Graham met today and discussed the analysis with leaders of the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security (AWRS), a business group supporting Social Security modernization, in his Senate office. On this day one year ago, Graham introduced legislation (S.1878) which combines the best of traditional Social Security system with the opportunity for younger workers at all income levels to build a retirement nest egg through personal accounts. Personal accounts would provide safe investment options similar to those now available to federal employees and improve on a system that will provide low growth rates for younger workers. They also provide stronger anti-poverty protections than are present in today’s system, a fact confirmed by the Social Security analysis. Under the plan, current retirees, workers 55 and older, and persons with disabilities would remain in today’s system with no changes to benefits, taxes, or annual cost of living adjustments. The plan gives workers 54 and younger the choice to join a modernized system that provides future retirees an inflation-indexed traditional benefit from Social Security that is at least as high as the benefits received by retirees today plus a personal retirement account. Workers would have the opportunity to set aside 4 percentage points of their Social Security taxes (up to $1,300 annually) in a personal retirement account that they would own and control. Workers could invest their contributions in low-cost, diversified stock and bond index funds. These investments would build value over time. At retirement, workers could draw on their account assets to help pay their monthly Social Security benefits or pass their account onto their heirs. Time is of the essence. The current Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2018 and becomes insolvent by 2042. Among the findings from the Social Security Administration’s analysis of Graham’s bill:
  • Restores Social Security surpluses rather than produce ever increasing deficits. Under the current system there will be a $588 billion (in $2003) deficit in 2061. Under the Graham plan there will be a $100 billion surplus.
  • Make the system solvent by placing Social Security on solid financial footing permanently at a cost that is substantially less than maintaining the current system. To maintain the current system permanently, it will take $10 trillion dollars, while implementing the Graham plan will cost less than $1.7 trillion.
  • Strengthens the social safety net by making benefits more progressive and provides higher benefits to low-income workers.
  • Lifts roughly 688,000 seniors out of poverty by 2061. The projected elderly poverty rate would be reduced from 2.7 percent under the benefits the current system can pay to 1.1 percent.
  • Improves return on worker investment. By 2061 average expected benefits would be over 25 percent higher than the benefits today’s system can afford at current tax rates.
  • Because workers would own their personal retirement accounts, the plan creates an average bequest at death of nearly $5,000 (in 2004 dollars) for workers retiring in 2022 and over $52,000 for workers retiring in 2061.
“Sustained solvency of Social Security is the greatest challenge we face,” said Graham. “This report shows that balanced reform plans – including plans put forth by the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security -- can protect our most vulnerable retirees, while ensuring that younger workers and future generations are not buried under a mountain of debt. To do nothing is political malpractice.” ####

Nov 15 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the resignations of Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Energy Spence Abraham, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, and Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman. “I appreciate the work these distinguished public servants have done for our nation and President Bush. We owe each of them a debt of gratitude. “South Carolina and the Savannah River Site could not have asked for a better friend than Spence Abraham. He brought a level of creativity to the Department of Energy that will pay dividends for years to come. As Secretary, he was more than willing to work with us to establish new missions at the Site such as MOX and understands the importance this program holds for our nation and the world. “Secretary Powell has compiled a lifetime of exceptional service to his nation and is one of the most distinguished Americans in history. His knowledge of world affairs and valuable advice has been vitally important to our nation in fighting and winning the war on terror. “Secretary Paige was a leader in President Bush’s efforts to establish accountability standards in our public schools. He was also one of the driving forces behind the landmark No Child Left Behind legislation and his legacy will be felt long after his service is completed. “The first woman to hold the position, Secretary Veneman ran the Department of Agriculture in a bipartisan manner. Her management style encouraged teamwork, innovation, and respect in coming up with solutions to problems facing America’s farmers and ranchers.” #####

Nov 10 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Charleston Interfaith Crisis Ministry will receive a $232,305 Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) grant. The funds will help provide primary health care, mental health, and substance abuse services to the homeless population in the Charleston area. Interfaith Crisis Ministry has been a recipient of this competitive federal grant since 1996. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Nov 10 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Bamberg Fire Department will receive a $31,041 firefighting grant. “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 Assistance to Firefighters Grant will help the fire departments improve their training, wellness and fitness programs; purchase new firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and, make modifications to fire stations and facilities. 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. ####

Nov 09 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the resignations of Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Commerce Don Evans: “Attorney General Ashcroft presided over the Justice Department during one of the most difficult periods in American history. He has done a marvelous job aggressively fighting terrorism and making us safer by strongly supporting the PATRIOT Act. He leaves a legacy that will stand the test of time. He has served our President and nation well.” “Secretary Evans provided steady leadership during troubling economic times. He aggressively pursued open markets for American products and was one of the President’s strongest advocates for tax relief and reform. Our nation is better off for his service, and he will be missed.” ####