May 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the third largest tax cut in American history. The vote in the Senate was 51-50 with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote. The House of Representatives passed the package last night and President Bush will sign the bill into law. Graham noted the legislation contained: Aid to State Governments: Facing a severe budget crunch, state government will benefit from the $20 billion in aid to the states. Over the next eighteen months, South Carolina will receive $136.4 million in direct aid to be spent at the state’s discretion and $129.1 million for the states Medicaid program. (Source: Senate Finance Committee calculations) Tax Relief: All taxpayers will receive relief from lower tax rates across the board. Parents will also benefit from the $400 rebate checks to be mailed out in the coming weeks as the child tax credit is raised from $600 to $1,000. Capital gains tax rates and taxation of dividends are also reduced to help spur economic growth. Married couples will also benefit from elimination of the marriage penalty.


Graham made the following statement after passage of the legislation: “The tax cut is the third largest in American history and it’s at a time when we need more money in the economy. It accomplishes three major goals: helps the states, helps all Americans who pay taxes, and spurs the economy forward. “We’re going to provide South Carolina with approximately $265.6 million over the next eighteen months to help alleviate the budget shortfall. This will have a big impact on the Medicaid program in the short term. However, long-term we still need to address fundamental reform of the Medicaid system. Governor Sanford and the leaders of the state legislature realize Medicaid is a ticking time-bomb and reform is absolutely necessary. “On the tax cut side, families with a child under 18 years old will receive $400 per-child rebates in the coming weeks. We lower all income tax rates across-the-board. Taxpayers will see an increase in their paychecks this summer as employers adjust the withholding rates. We also eliminate the marriage penalty, the quirk in the tax code that causes some married couples to pay more than singles. “The investment climate has improved dramatically with today’s passage of the Bush tax cut. The capital gains tax rate goes down and taxation of dividends is cut in half. The value of the tax cut package is currently $350 billion but over time it will grow and could eventually total about $800 billion. Needless to say, I’m very pleased.”

How May South Carolinians Benefit from Tax Relief: (Based on 2002 Tax Returns)
  • At least 862,000 taxpayers will benefit from the lower 10 percent tax bracket.
  • At least 271,000 taxpayers will benefit from a reduction in the top tax rates.
  • At least 445,000 taxpayers will benefit from elimination of the marriage penalty.
  • At least 373,000 taxpayers will benefit from the $1,000 per child tax credit.
  • At least 301,000 taxpayers will benefit from reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends.

May 23 2003

MUSC and USC Receive Health Studies Grants

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded five grants to South Carolina totaling $5,334,406. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control received the largest grant, worth over $4.6 million, to aid the state in providing immunizations and vaccines for children. “This is great news for South Carolina,” Graham said. “Protecting the health of our children is a solid investment in the future.” The four other grants are for research to be conducted at the state’s medical schools:
  • $538,521 for pregnancy research at the Medical University of South Carolina. This project evaluates vitamin D requirements during pregnancy.
  • $164,160 for an MUSC program entitled “Academic Administrative Units in Primary Care.”
  • $15,000 for continuing education and development projects at MUSC from the Maternal & Child Health Bureau.
  • $10,000 for cancer cause and prevention research at the University of South Carolina.

May 22 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the U.S. Department of Education has awarded $5,237,285 to sixteen Upward Bound programs in the state. The grants will allow Upward Bound to serve more than a thousand high school students in South Carolina from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelors degree, and low-income, first-generation military veterans who are preparing to enter postsecondary education. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from college. “Upward Bound is a great program that invests in the future of South Carolina,” said Graham. “I’m proud of our students who have participated in Upward Bound, and the success they have experienced as a result.” The Upward Bound programs receiving federal grants are:
  • Benedict College: $372,404
  • Claflin University: $512,056
  • College of Charleston: $408,678
  • Florence-Darlington Technical College: $287,702
  • Greenville Technical College: $234,623
  • Horry-Georgetown Technical College: $220,000
  • Midlands Technical College: $287,703
  • Morris College: $316,879
  • Piedmont Technical College: $279,496
  • Technical College of the Lowcountry: $311,883
  • Tri-County Technical College: $377,680
  • University of South Carolina-Columbia: 3 grants totaling $986,379
  • Voorhees College: $320,250
  • Williamsburg Technical College: $321,552

May 22 2003

South Carolina Projects Total Over $2.3 Billion


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the U.S. Senate had approved the 2004 Defense Authorization Act which contains over $2.3 billion for South Carolina projects. The money awarded includes full funding for the Savannah River Site. Graham noted the bill will enhance the ability of the Department of Defense to fulfill its responsibilities and continue the commitment to improve the quality of life for the men and women of the Armed Forces. Graham offered several amendments to the bill on the floor of the Senate that were adopted. These include: Additional Funding for CIPC - Graham secured an additional $8 million for the Consolidated Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in Charleston, South Carolina in an amendment offered on the floor of the Senate earlier today, which brings total authorized funding for CIPC to $244 million. The objective of the center is to implement a virtual network of engineering services linking various government and private sector engineering service training centers and universities including the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, Clemson, and the College of Charleston. The network will allow the entire community to share test facilities, simulations, data bases, and other resources. Commissary Privilege Amendment - Removes the limit on the number of visits Guard and Reserve members can make per year to commissaries. Equal access to commissary stores is a benefit that recognizes the increased responsibility of the reserve forces for homeland defense and worldwide deployment and helps to ensure continued patronage of commissaries experiencing reduced income. This also provides a proven incentive for recruiting and retaining military members. Health Care Benefit - Allows Guard and Reserve members to have the ability to enroll full-time in TRICARE. This optional coverage would offer health care stability to many Guard and Reserve families who lose coverage under employers' plans when a spouse is called up for active duty. The second part of this amendment would reimburse Selected Reserve members with civilian insurance for their families, if they elect to retain the civilian insurance for their family when they are called to active duty. This is capped to equal the cost of providing TRICARE benefits. South Carolina has about 30,000 citizens serving in the National Guard or Reserves. Among the projects for the state included in the legislation: South Carolina Upstate
  • $134.372 million for P-3 aircraft Anti-Surface Warfare kits in Greenville. The Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement program greatly expands the P-3C’s capabilities and includes additional advanced technology sensors, expanded communication systems, upgraded weapon delivery capabilities, and survivability upgrades.
  • $9.2 million for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) to fund prototype development in Greenville.
  • $3 million for the development of an Advanced Electric Drive for military use. Work will be conducted in the Upstate.
  • $1.5 million for Formidable Aligned Carbon ThermoSets (FACTS), a new composite product for naval aircraft construction. FACTS will allow the design and fabrication of much more efficient designs significantly lowering airframe weight. Development will be conducted in Anderson.
South Carolina Midlands
  • $8.5 million for construction of Shaw Deployment Center, Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter.
  • $6.9 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Army) and $5.3 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Marines) produced in Columbia. The M-249 is a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun which serves as one of the Army infantry and Marines most valuable weapon systems.
  • $6 million for the research and development of Gallium Nitride Microwave Circuits at the University of South Carolina.
  • $5 million for Nano and Micro Electromechanical research at the University of South Carolina.
South Carolina Lowcountry
  • $244 million for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at SPAWAR in Charleston. (Graham secured $236 in the Armed Services Committee and added an additional $8 million on the Senate floor.)
  • $8.86 million for construction of Charleston Air Force Base housing.
  • $6.5 million for the development of an Autolog System, a concept that uses multi-point stabilization to overcome the pendulations problems on existing shipboard cranes. Research will be conducted in Charleston.
  • $7.254 million for the Joint Analytical Model Improvement Program in Charleston. $5.1 million for continued development of multi-spectral Barium GaloGermanite (BGG) glass window technology, an essential component for airborne reconnaissance systems. Research and development of BGG glass is conducted in Hilton Head.
  • $4 million for the procurement of Quadruple Containers, produced in Charleston. These shipping containers divide into four separate sections to aid in transport by facilitating the loading and unloading process.
Savannah River Site
  • $1.359 billion for Environmental Management (EM) cleanup
  • $402 million for Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication construction.
  • $75 million for a tritium extraction facility.
  • $13.6 million for pit disassembly and conversion.
Miscellaneous
  • $9.73 million for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) programs at both Clemson and USC.
  • $8 million for Eagle Vision which provides the National Guard, including the South Carolina National Guard, with in-theater, real-time acquisition and processing of commercial satellite imagery of our adversary’s territory.
Also included in the bill are several projects related or of interest to South Carolina:
  • $1.03 billion for nuclear nonproliferation programs with Russia.
  • $55 million for C-37 Procurement. The Navy has a validated requirement for 5 C-37 (G-550) aircraft. These aircraft support combatant commanders of forward deployed Naval and Marine Corps forces.
  • $36 million for the purchase of thirty-six M109A6 Paladin Howitzers. The Paladin is the most advanced self-propelled howitzer cannon system fielded in the world.
“Our state is the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed services,” said Graham. “South Carolina is also a leader in military technology and plays a vital role in the war on terrorism. The men and women stationed here, both active duty and reserve components, play a major role in defending American interests around the world and providing freedom.” “I am proud to be from a state that is invaluable to America’s fighting force,” said Graham. “We provide the human assets and support systems that make the U.S. military the world’s premier fighting force.” “At Savannah River Site we’re working to keep the peace,” said Graham. “SRS is playing a leading role in the effort to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into fuel. They’re also accelerating cleanup of the Site’s Cold War legacy.”

May 21 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the Senate passed a provision to improve the healthcare benefits of National Guard and Reserve personnel by allowing them to enroll in TRICARE, the military health program. South Carolina has about 30,000 Guardsman and Reservists. Under current law, members of the Guard and Reserve can only enroll in TRICARE when called to active duty. The Graham provision would allow Guardsmen and Reservist to enroll themselves and their family in TRICARE at any time, assuring continuity of health coverage and access to the family’s doctors when the service member is activated. The premium would be low, would reduce out of pocket expenses for the reservist, and would be an incentive for employers to hire Guardsmen and Reservists. “This provision allows every Guard and Reserve family to have continuous access to high-quality, affordable health care,” said Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate. “This was a strong statement by the United States Senate that it is time to upgrade the benefits of Guardsmen and Reservists. Less than a week ago we introduced this concept and I’m pleased the Senate voted to pass this measure by an overwhelming 85-10 vote.” Graham noted the provision would help National Guard and Reserve recruitment and retention efforts. The cost of the health benefit is $7 billion over the next five years, one-tenth of one percent of the military budget. “Since 9-11 there has been a seven hundred percent increase in the use of Guard and Reserve personnel,” said Graham. “We have not changed the benefits for these essential military personnel. It’s time we reward them for their service and patriotism, and make service to their country more attractive and fair. “I appreciate the strong support of my Republican and Democratic colleagues in pushing this provision through,” said Graham. “I worked with Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tom Daschle among others in what was truly a bipartisan effort.” The Graham provision will be added to the Senate’s Defense Authorization bill. Graham however held out little hope the provision would pass Congress this year and become law. “The strong showing of support in the Senate will send a clear message to the Pentagon and to the appropriators that we are serious about change,” Graham said. “We want to improve healthcare for Reservists and Guardsmen and this will help us secure funding in the future. I feel very good about our chances of pushing this into law next year.”

May 16 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) voted last night in support of more than $400 billion in tax relief. The vote in the Senate was 51-49. “It was a big day for the taxpayer,” said Graham. “The number one reason I’m voting for a tax cut is to create jobs.” “According to estimates, if this bill passes, a million jobs will be created in the next eighteen months,” said Graham. “Last night was a huge victory for President Bush because we got the actual elements of his tax cut back on track.”

The major provisions of the Bush tax cut plan passed by the Senate:
  • Lowering and Eliminating the Tax on Dividends: The plan excludes 50 percent of dividends from taxes in 2003 and makes dividends tax-free in 2004.
  • Lower Income Tax Rates: The plan lowers tax rates across the board for all taxpayers.
  • Increases the Child Tax Credit: The child tax credit would immediately increase from $600 per child to $1,000 putting more money into the pockets of parents.
  • Marriage Penalty Relief: Makes the deductions for married couples twice that of single filers. The provision eases the quirk in the tax code that makes some married couples pay more in taxes than singles.
  • Tax Relief to Boost Small Business: The plan increases from $25,000 to $100,000 the cost of equipment expenses small businesses can deduct. “The tax cut will help in the effort to create new jobs and get the economy humming on all cylinders,” said Graham. President Bush supported Senate passage of the legislation. “I commend the Senate for its bipartisan passage of a Jobs and Growth package that includes all of the components of my original plan,” said President Bush. “By including a measure to completely abolish the double taxation of dividends, the Senate has demonstrated that they are committed to creating as many jobs as possible for American workers. The Senate bill also speeds income tax rate cuts for individuals and families, increases the child credit, provides marriage penalty relief, and increases expensing for small businesses.”

May 16 2003

Graham Pushes for Additional District Court and Bankruptcy Judge for South Carolina

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced President Bush has nominated Judge Henry Floyd of Pickens to fill a federal District Court vacancy in South Carolina. Judge Floyd currently serves on South Carolina’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, a position he was elected to in May 1992. Previously, Floyd served as county attorney for Pickens, commissioner on the South Carolina Forestry Commission, and as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Judge Floyd is nominated to fill the seat previously held by Judge Dennis Shedd who was promoted to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. “I have known Judge Floyd for many years,” Graham said. “The President could not have selected a more qualified candidate or a better person. He is a dedicated public servant and is well respected among his peers. He has consistently received praise from the South Carolina Bar and those who have practiced before him. “Judge Floyd has an exceptional legal mind, impeccable character, and a legacy of fair application of the law,” said Graham. “I believe his nomination to the federal bench reflects the high esteem South Carolinians have for him. I am confident he will serve the state well and faithfully execute the duties of the District Court.” Graham also addressed the issue of judicial nominations being slowed in the Senate. “Giving his judicial record, if Judge Floyd has any problems during confirmation, then the system is beyond repair,” said Graham. In other judicial matters, Graham noted the Senate Judiciary Committee recently passed a provision he authored with other Senators creating a new District Court judgeship and a new Bankruptcy Court judgeship in South Carolina. “The need for an additional district court judge and bankruptcy court judge is a result of South Carolina’s growth,” Graham said. “In order to better serve the citizens of the state we must help alleviate the increasing number of cases before each of our judges. In too many cases, justice delayed can turn into justice denied.” The Graham provision now faces consideration by the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

May 14 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the city of Mullins a $19,910 rural development grant. Funds will be used to purchase thirteen new self contained breathing air packs for the fire department. The equipment will improve the department’s ability to execute search and rescue missions. The project will be supplemented with a contribution from the City of $36, 200. “Firefighters risk their lives to protect others, and they deserve the best equipment available,” said Graham.

May 12 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the ISWA Development Corporation in Rock Hill will receive a $1.67 million Indian Housing Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Indian Housing Block Grant Funds can be used for a variety of eligible affordable housing activities including modernization and operating assistance for low income housing, new construction, acquisition or rehabilitation of rental or owner occupied housing, housing services, housing management, crime prevention, and safety or model activities. “This award will help provide quality, affordable housing to eligible recipients in the area,” said Graham. “It’s an investment in the community and will provide a better life for families.”

May 12 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced the committee approved $1.85 billion for South Carolina projects in the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act. The money awarded includes full funding for the Savannah River Site. The Senate committee approved $400.5 billion in funding for defense programs for fiscal year 2004, which is $17.9 billion above the amount appropriated by the Congress last year. The recommended level of funding represents a 3.2 percent increase in real terms for defense and a 3.7 percent increase for military personnel. Graham noted the bill will enhance the ability of the Department of Defense to fulfill its homeland defense responsibilities and continue the commitment to improve the quality of life for the men and women of the Armed Forces.

South Carolina projects in the bill include:

South Carolina Upstate
  • $39.4 million for P-3 aircraft Anti-Surface Warfare kits in Greenville. The Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement program greatly expands the P-3C’s capabilities and includes additional advanced technology sensors, expanded communication systems, upgraded weapon delivery capabilities, and survivability upgrades.
  • $9.2 million for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) to fund prototype development in Greenville.
  • $3 million for the development of an Advanced Electric Drive for military use. Work will be conducted in Gaffney.
  • $1.5 million for Formidable Aligned Carbon ThermoSets (FACTS), a new composite product for naval aircraft construction. FACTS will allow the design and fabrication of much more efficient designs significantly lowering airframe weight. Development will be conducted in Anderson.
South Carolina Midlands
  • $8.5 million for construction of Shaw Deployment Center, Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter.
  • $6.9 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Army) and $6.1 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Marines) produced in Columbia. The M-249 is a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun which serves as one of the Army infantry and Marines most valuable weapon systems.
  • $6 million for the research and development of Gallium Nitride Microwave Circuits at the University of South Carolina.
  • $5 million for Nano and Micro Electromechanical research at the University of South Carolina.
South Carolina Lowcountry
  • $23 million for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center at SPAWAR in Charleston.
  • $8.86 million for construction of Charleston Air Force Base Housing.
  • $6.5 million for the development of an Autolog System, a concept that uses multi-point stabilization to overcome the pendulations problems on existing shipboard cranes. Research will be conducted in Charleston.
  • $6 million for the Joint Warfare System Initiatives (JWARS) in Charleston. JWARS is an advanced theater-level campaign analysis tool.
  • $5.1 million for continued development of multi-spectral Barium GaloGermanite (BGG) glass window technology, an essential component for airborne reconnaissance systems. Research and development of BGG glass is conducted in Hilton Head.
  • $4 million for the procurement of Quadruple Containers, produced in Charleston. These shipping containers divide into four separate sections to aid in transport by facilitating the loading and unloading process.
Miscellaneous
  • $9.73 million for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) programs at both Clemson and USC.
  • $8 million for Eagle Vision (EV) for the SC National Guard. The EV system provides in-theater, real-time acquisition and processing of commercial satellite imagery of our adversary’s territory.
  • The Savannah River Site is authorized to receive $1.7 billion in total funding, including:
  • $402 million for MOX fuel fabrication construction.
  • $75 million for a tritium extraction facility.
  • $13.6 million for pit disassembly and conversion.
  • $2.75 million for cleaning and loading modifications.
Also included in the bill are several projects related or of interest to South Carolina:
  • $1.03 billion for nuclear nonproliferation programs with Russia.
  • $55 million for C-37 Procurement. The Navy has a validated requirement for 5 C-37 (G-550) aircraft. These aircraft support combatant commanders of forward deployed Naval and Marine Corps forces.
  • $36 million for the purchase of thirty-six M109A6 Paladin Howitzers. The Paladin is the most advanced self-propelled howitzer cannon system fielded in the world. The additional 36 Paladins authorized and appropriated are solely for the Army National Guard.
  • $843,000 for research and design of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS). The JHMCS allows fighter pilots to target and destroy their enemy by a simple turn of the head, rather than having to maneuver their aircraft into an attack position. By enabling pilots to quickly designate and destroy enemy aircraft using a helmet “heads-up” display, the JHMCS provides a first look, first shot, first kill capability – between a 3 and 5 to 1 advantage over enemy aircraft. “Our state is the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed services,” said Graham. “South Carolina is also a leader in military technology and plays a vital role in the war on terrorism. The men and women stationed here, both active duty and reserve components, play a major role in defending American interests around the world and providing freedom. “I am proud to be from a state that is invaluable to America’s fighting force,” said Graham. “We provide the human assets and support systems that make the U.S. military the world’s premier fighting force. “At Savannah River Site we’re working to keep the peace,” said Graham. “SRS is playing a leading role in the effort to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into fuel. They’re also pushing full-bore in cleanup efforts at the site.” The Defense Authorization Act will now go the floor for consideration by the entire Senate.