Nov 30 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement following President Bush’s address on Iraq. “I’m pleased the President reinforced the message that we cannot leave Iraq before victory is achieved. As a nation we need to understand Iraq is part of the War on Terror and directly affects our national security. “The President made the case that a vibrant democracy in Iraq is the antidote to terrorism. The establishment of freedom in Iraq will not work with artificial timetables. However, I do believe progress reports on Iraqi troop training and security operations will be helpful as we move forward. “It would be a huge mistake to suggest to the terrorists fighting in Iraq that we will leave the Iraqi people before they have the capacity to protect their infant democracy from the wolves of terrorism. “If we fail in Iraq, it will only embolden the terrorists and be a body blow to those who are fighting and dying for democracy in the region.” #####

Nov 28 2005

WASHINGTON -– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on the Treasury Department’s currency report issued this afternoon. “It is obvious Chinese currency practices violate international monetary policy and are creating havoc for American manufacturers. To say congressional patience is running out on the currency issue is a tremendous understatement. “The concern China will not like being pressed to change their currency practices buys into the idea the world lives by one set of rules and China lives by another. “The Chinese cannot be part of the international community on their terms alone. When you do business with democracies where push-back is part of the economic and political process, you had better get used to being pressed to play by the rules. “In a give-and-take world, China only believes in taking. “China’s political sensibilities have been accommodated to the breaking point. It’s unhealthy to allow a country the size of China to be immune to criticism, particularly when they choose to not play by the rules. “Communists dictatorships rightly lost favor throughout the world in the 20th Century. I do not intend to help empower their renaissance in the 21st Century by allowing China’s communist dictatorship to play by a different set of rules. The Reagan model of negotiating through strength and honestly evaluating other nations would serve us well in our dealings with China. “I expect in the near future, unless some dramatic change occurs, the Congress will speak loudly and forcefully on China’s continuing currency manipulation.” #####

Nov 22 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on South Carolina’s October unemployment numbers. “Governor Sanford’s decision to create jobs in South Carolina by lowering taxes and controlling the size of government will pay great dividends. South Carolina has a heavy manufacturing-based economy, and the manufacturing sector has been hit hard throughout the country. “The addition of 29,000 people to our labor force in the past two months is encouraging and the Governor’s policies of energizing the private sector will continue to pay dividends if we stay the course. South Carolina’s economy will only grow if the private sector has the tools and resources necessary to create jobs. That is the heart of Governor Sanford’s economic reform proposals. “I am convinced that Governor Sanford’s policies will be successful in allowing the private sector to create more jobs.” South Carolina was reported to have a 6.9 percent unemployment rate in October. The rate is due in large part to rapid growth in the state’s labor force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina’s labor force has increased by more than 29,000 people in the past two months- nearly the same growth as the previous 14 months combined. ####

Nov 18 2005

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Bill containing several million dollars for South Carolina projects. Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham voted in favor of the bill, which passed by unanimous consent. The bill has passed the House of Representatives. “This bill provides funds to maintain our roads, highways and infrastructure,” said Senator DeMint. “These projects are important to South Carolina in order to maintain our quality of life and encourage economic development.” “I am proud that South Carolina’s delegation was able to work together to provide funding for these important projects,” said Senator Graham. “The programs funded by this bill address a wide range of needs in our state. This money will help improve our transportation infrastructure, a vital part of future economic development, as well as provide much needed funding for housing and community organizations that help maintain a healthy workforce.” Highlights of the bill include: Lowcountry
  • Highway 278, Beaufort County, SC - $2,250,000
  • Charleston International Airport Parking Garage - $1,000,000
  • City of Charleston, SC for completed construction of the Spirit of South Carolina - $400,000
  • City of Walterboro, SC for construction of the great Swamp Sanctuary Discovery Center and associated streetscape - $300,000
  • Crisis Ministries Homeless Shelter in Charleston, SC for facilities renovation - $220,000
  • North Rhett Blvd Extension in Charleston, SC - $200,000
  • Town of St. Stephens, SC for renovation of the Berkeley Senior Center - $100,000
  • Progressive Club in John’s Island, SC for renovation of a multi-purpose building - $50,000
Grand Strand
  • I-73 - $2,050,000
  • Choppee Regional Resource Center, Georgetown County, SC - $100,000
Pee Dee
  • 1-95/327 improvements - $1,000,000
  • Security Improvements at Dillon County Airport - $500,000
  • Lee County I-20 Frontage Road US 15 to SC 341 - $400,000
  • Lee County, South Carolina for construction of a county recreation center - $250,000
  • National Council of Negro Women, Inc in Bishopville, South Carolina for construction of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Park - $200,000
  • Marion County, South Carolina for constructing an outdoor wellness facility - $150,000
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Pee Dee in Florence, South Carolina for renovation and expansion of Florence and Sumter facilities - $100,000
  • Williamsburg County Boys and Girls Club in Hemingway, SC for expansion and upgrading of facilities - $75,000
  • Trolley Study in Rock Hill - $400,000
  • City of Lancaster, SC for renovation of the “Hope on the Hill” adult education and afterschool center - $300,000
  • City of Greenville, South Carolina for the development of Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research - $500,000
  • Replace Milford Road Bridge in Anderson, SC - $500,000
  • Town of Greenwood, SC for renovation of the Old Federal Courthouse - $400,000
  • South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in Spartanburg, SC for dormitory renovation - $380,000
  • Roadway to improve Old Laurens Road, Laurens, SC $250,000
  • Upgrade Wells Highway/Sheep Farm Road Oconee SC - $250,000
  • Laurens County, South Carolina for the Hunter Industrial Park improvements - $60,000
  • Briggs Delaine Pearson Bridge Connector - $2,000,000
  • Pedestrian Walkway at SCSU and Claflin University - $1,700,000
  • SCDOT Vehicle Acquisition - $1,600,000
  • Assembly Street Railroad Relocation, Columbia, SC - $1,300,000
  • Bobby Jones/Palmetto Parkway, N. Augusta, SC - $1,000,000
  • Engenuity South Carolina in the City of Columbia for the National Institute of Hydrogen Commercialization - $1,000,000
  • Lexington Connector, SC - $893,000 I-26/US1 Airport Intermodal Connector,
  • Lexington, SC - $750,000
  • Bible Way Community Development Corporation, Columbia, SC for construction of a multipurpose facility - $125,000
  • Aiken ILS Study at Aiken Municipal Airport - $100,000
  • Harden Street, Columbia, SC - $100,000

Nov 17 2005

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the United States Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that contains more than $44 million for South Carolina projects. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint voted in favor of the bill, which passed 94-5. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives last week and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush. “I am proud that South Carolina’s delegation was able to work together to provide funding for these important projects,” said Graham. “The programs funded by this bill will help our universities remain at the forefront of research, assist local law enforcement agencies, update infrastructure, and improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.” "These funds will go toward increasing our local law enforcement officers’ ability to communicate with each other during emergencies," said Senator DeMint. Highlights of the bill include: Low Country
  • $8 million for the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina
  • $2.3 million for the Southern Shrimp Alliance
  • $1.5 million for the South Carolina Coastal Initiative for land acquisition in Beaufort County
  • $250,000 for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for RecFIN
  • $200,000 for Florence Crittenton in Charleston
  • $150,000 for the Southeastern Law Enforcement Center for law enforcement technologies
  • $100,000 for the Southeastern Law Enforcement Center’s Lowcountry Information Technology Improvement Project
  • $50,000 for the Walterboro Sheriff’s Office
  • $50,000 for Darkness to Light juvenile sexual abuse educational programs in Charleston
Pee Dee
  • $250,000 for Kingstree Law Enforcement Training
  • $200,000 for the Myrtle Beach International Trade Center
  • $50,000 for the Williamsburg Sheriff’s Department
      • $4.5 million for prosecutorial training by the National Advocacy Center
      • $2.05 million for Caro-Coops at the University of South Carolina
      • $600,000 for the Richland County Learning Center
      • $300,000 to develop a DNA forensics lab at Claflin University
      • $50,000 for the Gang Intervention/Methamphetamine Initiative in Columbia
      • $50,000 for the Town of Santee Police Department
      • $50,000 for Sumter County
      • $300,000 for the Rock Hill Communications Center
      • $13 million for the National Textile Center
      • $150,000 for the Anderson County 800 MHz Communication Project
      • $100,000 for the Clemson ICAR Innovation Center
      • $8.2 million to Experimental Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research educational programs EPSCoR) at the University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University
      • $850,000 for SCDNR’s MARMAP- Marine Resources Monitoring Assessment and Prediction Program
      • $467,000 for the Height Modernization Regional Expansion project for SC Budget and Control Board
      • $300,000 for Southeastern Sea Turtles research for SCDNR

Nov 16 2005

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced Cooley Springs Fire Department in Chesnee will receive a $97,755 grant. “Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians,” said Graham. “These grants help fire departments save lives by providing the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.” “I’m pleased to announce these grants that are important to the brave firefighters that risk their lives for the families of South Carolina,” said Senator DeMint. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program grant 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. 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 15 2005

WASHINGTON – South Carolina’s U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint along with Third District Representative Gresham Barrett today characterized next year’s funding for Savannah River Site as adequate to carry out the important operations of the Site. “Considering the pressure being placed on the federal budget because of the War on Terror and Gulf Coast hurricane relief efforts, I think we did as well as could be expected,” said Graham. “Funding for the Site this year is a mixed bag. We lost some fights and won others.” "Thanks to the leadership of Senator Graham and Congressman Barrett, we were able to fund the important needs of the Savannah River Site, including the necessary cleanup and moving forward on MOX," said Senator DeMint. "However, we must remain committed to new missions and ensuring full funding in future years." "We didn't get everything we had wanted, but in a time when everyone has been asked to cut back on spending I don't think we can complain about the overall funding levels," said Barrett. "As we move into 2006, I will continue to work with the other members of the delegation to secure the necessary funding to move forward on current projects and promote new missions." Among the highlights of the Energy and Water appropriations bill:
  • The bill makes the Savannah River National Lab eligible for Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funds. Eligibility for these funds will ensure that the Lab is able to capitalize on the enormous innovative potential of the work going on there. This funding will provide the resources necessary for lab employees to pursue innovative technologies and expand the mission of the lab.
  • $1.17 billion for environmental cleanup.
  • $220 million in funding for construction of the MOX fuel fabrication facility. Last month, the Department of Energy held a ceremony to mark the beginning of work clearing and prepping the area for construction and operation of the MOX facility. When completed, the start of the art facility will turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel to make electricity at a commercial nuclear power plant.
  • $24 million for the pit disassembly and conversion facility.
  • $10 million for the melt and dilute technology for excess weapons-grade plutonium.
  • $1 million for energy security and diversification at Savannah River National Lab (SRNL).
Due to delays in the MOX program brought about by the lengthy negotiations over liability issues with the Russian Federation the conference report moves back the operative dates in the Thurmond-Graham language by three years. The bill eliminates funding for further development of a Modern Pit Facility. "In the face of strong opposition to MOX, the funding level we were able to secure is a big step forward, and I am hopeful Congressional leadership is learning the national significance of SRS," said Senator DeMint. "I'm disappointed with the decision to eliminate funding for further development of a Modern Pit Facility. There is no doubt in my mind that we need a MPF and that SRS has the expertise and infrastructure to support such a facility; however, I understand as good stewards of the taxpayer dollar we must determine the appropriate size and scope of the facility," said Barrett. "Additionally, we are committed to ensuring the MOX facility is constructed and operational in a timely fashion. Since the liability issues concerning MOX have been resolved this funding allows us to move forward." “The funding for MOX allows us to continue making progress in the construction and eventual operation of the facility,” said Graham. “Now that the liability issues and MOX budget have been addressed, I think we showed a good faith effort on our state’s part to update the schedule. The MPF decision was disappointing but I expect we may revisit this issue in the coming years as we determine our future nuclear deterrent needs. The biggest obstacle to MPF moving forward is that the Department of Defense will not tell us their pit needs. Without their input it will be difficult to justify a multi-billion dollar program.” #####

Nov 15 2005

WASHINGTON- The United States Senate today passed the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that contains more than $80 million for South Carolina projects. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint voted in favor of the bill, which passed 84-4. “I am proud of the delegation’s ability to secure federal funding for South Carolina’s infrastructure needs,” said Graham. “Over time, these projects will create jobs, encourage tourism, and provide for a healthier environment. I am a strong advocate of fiscal discipline, but equally believe South Carolina deserves her fair share of the pie for worthy projects.” "This bill provides funds to maintain our ports and secure some of South Carolina’s most important economic assets," said Senator DeMint. Highlights of the bill include: Low Country
  • $9.934 million for operations and maintenance at Charleston Harbor
  • $6 million for construction at Lakes Marion and Moultrie
  • $2.615 million for operations and maintenance at the Cooper River/Charleston Harbor
  • $2.234 million for beach erosion control at Morris Island Lighthouse
  • $500,000 for biological and environmental research at the Medical University of South Carolina
  • $413,000 for Corps of Engineers operations at Town Creek
  • $60,000 for construction at Folly Beach
  • $50,000 for investigations at the Santee Delta
  • $23,000 for investigations at Edisto Island
Pee Dee
  • $3.6 million for operations and maintenance at Georgetown Harbor
  • $1 million for South Science Development in Florence for biological and environmental research
  • $205,000 for aquatic ecosystem restoration at the Lynches River/Lake City
  • $154,000 for the planning phase of a hurricane and storm damage reduction project on Pawleys Island
  • $75,000 for construction at Myrtle Beach
  • $25,000 for a stormwater drainage study at Surfside Beach
  • $9.942 million for operations and maintenance at Strom Thurmond Lake
  • $5.7 million for major rehabilitation of the Thurmond Lake Powerhouse
  • $4 million for Allen University
  • $2 million for Claflin University
  • $2 million for the University of South Carolina
  • $1 million for Voorhees College
  • $1 million for South Carolina State University
  • $5,000 for an aquatic ecosystem restoration project at Pocotaligo Swamp
  • $36,000 for an aquatic ecosystem restoration project at Wilson Branch
  • $14.957 million for operations and maintenance at Lake Hartwell
  • $11.055 million for operations and maintenance at Richard B. Russell Lake
  • $1.3 million for construction at the Richard B. Russell Dam
  • $733,000 for major rehabilitation at the Hartwell Lake Powerhouse
  • $2 million for operations and maintenance of the Atlantic Intracostal Waterway
  • $50,000 for modeling of the Waccamaw River Watershed

Nov 14 2005

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive a $2,851,022 grant under the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program. The funds can be used to support state and local emergency management and to encourage the improvement of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities for all hazards. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

Nov 10 2005

Senate Passes Graham Detainee Plan

Amendment Sets Guidelines For the Detention of Enemy Combatants and Clarifies that Foreign Terrorists do not have Unlimited Access to US Courts

WASHINGTON -- Today, by a vote of 49-42, the United States Senate expressed support for an plan authored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) that strengthens the review process of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) while clarifying that non-citizen terrorists do not have unlimited access to U.S. courts. After the vote Graham made the following statement. “I firmly believe that 9/11 was an act of war and not a crime. The detainees at GTMO are not American citizens facing criminal trial, rather, they are terrorists who have taken up arms against the United States. “There has never been a time in our military history where an enemy combatant or prisoner of war has been allowed access to federal court to bring lawsuits against the people they are fighting. Habeas corpus rights have never been given to an enemy combatant and the Senate today reaffirmed that principal. “Today the Senate voted to allow detainees a one-time appeal of their status to a single federal court and, at the same time, stopped the legal abuse. Currently, over 160 cases have been filed by terrorists suing our own troops over every action taken. The due process rights of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay are stronger than Geneva requirements, and with the addition of federal court review, are a model for the world. “It is not fair to our troops fighting in the War on Terror to be sued in every court in the land by our enemies based on every possible complaint. We have done nothing today but return to the basics of the law of armed conflict where we are dealing with enemy combatants not common criminals.” Graham Amendment Senator Lindsey Graham’s amendment strengthens the review process of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) while clarifying that non-citizen terrorists do not have access to U.S. courts. The Current Situation at GTMO * The detention status of all detainees at GTMO is assessed by an administrative process called the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT). * CSRT determines the status of a detainee and whether they should be detained at GTMO as an unlawful enemy combatant. * The CSRT is composed of three military officers. One officer is a judge advocate (military lawyer) while the senior ranking officer serves as president of the tribunal. Each detainee is assigned a military officer as a personal representative. The officer assists the detainee in preparing for the tribunal hearing. * In the tribunal, detainees have the right to testify before the tribunal, call witnesses and introduce evidence. * Following a hearing of testimony and introduction of evidence, the tribunal goes into closed-door session to determine whether the detainee is properly being termed an enemy combatant. Any detainee determined not to be an enemy combatant is transferred to their home country or handled in a manner consistent with domestic and international obligations and U.S. foreign policy. * Enemy Combatants detained at GTMO also go before the Administrative Review Board (ARB) for an annual review of their status. The ARB is a three person panel comprised of military officers who determine if the individual is still an enemy combatant, still holds intelligence value or still presents a threat to the United States. What Reforms Are Proposed in the Amendment? The Graham amendment proposes several changes. They include: * CSRT may not consider information that was proven by preponderance of the evidence to have been obtained with undue coercion. * The Designated Civilian Official, the final authority on the Administrative Review Board, must be confirmed by the Senate. (Currently, the Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England) * Under the Graham amendment the determination of the CSRT would be subject to review by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This in an historic and unprecedented change. The amendment also contains a provision authorizing the Secretary of Defense to change the procedures as long as they give notice to Congress in advance of implementation. The CSRT / ARB Process and the Geneva Conventions * Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949 requires a party to an international armed conflict to use a "competent tribunal" to determine the status of a person when there is doubt as to whether the person qualifies as a Prisoner of War. * While, by definition, Article 5 does not apply to Al Qaida (because they do not qualify as POW’s and are not part of a state party), the United States established the CSRT and ARB to address the due process concerns expressed by the Supreme Court. * The CSRT and ARB procedures, especially with the changes required in this amendment, more than satisfy the requirement for a “competent tribunal” provided for in the Geneva Convention. The Need for Habeas Reform As it Concerns Enemy Combatants * The Supreme Court’s Rasul (2004) decision held that federal courts have jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions from Guantanamo detainees. * For the first time foreign terrorists in U.S. custody have begun claiming the rights and benefits of the U.S. Constitution, our laws, and treaties. * Over 160 habeas petitions on behalf of approximately 300 detainees have been filed in federal court to date. * An array of habeas challenges have been filed including those questioning the quality of their food and speed of mail delivery. Others have questioned the legality of their detention, propriety of returning a detainee to their home country, and allotment of exercise time. The Department of Justice is devoting tremendous resources to the litigation of habeas petitions filed by GTMO detainees. * The federal suits are also slowing our intelligence gathering efforts from detainees. Michael Ratner, a lawyer who has filed lawsuits on behalf of numerous enemy combatants, boasts of this fact. He said, “The litigation is brutal for [the United States.] It’s huge. We have over one hundred lawyers now from big and small firms working to represent these detainees. Every time an attorney goes down there, it makes it much harder [for the U.S. military] to do what they’re doing. You can’t run an interrogation…with attorneys. What are they going to do now that we’re getting court orders to get more lawyers down there?” * The amendment clarifies the previous understanding of the habeas statute that aliens outside the United States do not have access to our federal courts. * The amendment only applies to NON-CITIZEN TERRORISTS. Examples of Habeas Petitions Filed on Behalf of Detainees * Canadian detainee who threw a grenade that killed an Army medic in firefight and who comes from family with longstanding al Qaeda ties moves for preliminary injunction forbidding interrogation of him or engaging in "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" treatment of him (n.b. this motion was denied by Judge Bates). * "Al Odah motion for dictionary internet security forms" -- Kuwaiti detainees seek court orders that they be provided dictionaries in contravention of GTMO's force protection policy and that their counsel be given high-speed internet access at their lodging on the base and be allowed to use classified DoD telecommunications facilities, all on the theory that otherwise their "right to counsel" is unduly burdened. * "Alladeen -- Motion for TRO re transfer" -- Egyptian detainee who Combatant Status Review Tribunal adjudicated as no longer an enemy combatant, and who was therefore due to be released by the US, files motion to block his repatriation to Egypt. * "Paracha -- Motion for PI re Conditions" -- Motion by high level al Qaeda detainee complaining about base security procedures, speed of mail delivery, and medical treatment; seeking an order that he be transferred to the "least onerous conditions" at GTMO and asking the court to order that GTMO allow him to keep any books and reading materials sent to him and to "report to the Court" on "his opportunities for exercise, communication, recreation, worship, etc." * "Motion for PI re Medical Records" -- Motion by detainee accusing military's health professionals of "gross and intentional medical malpractice" in alleged violation of the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, 42 USC 1981, and unspecified international agreements. * "Abdah -- Emergency Motion re DVDs" -- "emergency" motion seeking court order requiring GTMO to set aside its normal security policies and show detainees DVDs that are purported to be family videos. * "Petitioners' Supp. Opposition" -- Filing by detainee requesting that, as a condition of a stay of litigation pending related appeals, the Court involve itself in his medical situation and set the stage for them to second-guess the provision of medical care and other conditions of confinement. * "Al Odah Supplement to PI Motion" -- Motion by Kuwaiti detainees unsatisfied with the Koran they are provided as standard issue by GTMO, seeking court order that they be allowed to keep various other supplementary religious materials, such as a "tafsir" or 4-volume Koran with commentary, in their cells.