Sep 26 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced FN Manufacturing, Inc. in Columbia has been awarded a $6.97 million contract by the United States Army. The contract is for the purchase of 15,429 short barrels for the M-249 machine gun. The M-249 is a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun which serves as one of the Army and Marine Corps most valuable infantry weapon systems. “South Carolina is a leading producer of innovative and reliable technology for the United States military,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The employees at FN should be proud of the role they play in keeping our troops well equipped and winning the War on Terror.” ####

Sep 26 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the United States Senate unanimously approved his resolution demanding that China stop cheating in international trade. “I am pleased to see the Senate coming together in a bi-partisan fashion to address the problem of China undervaluing their currency,” said Graham. “Chinese trade abuses affect every American and will be the ruin of our domestic manufacturing industry if action is not taken soon.” Graham’s resolution calls on the Chinese to correct their currency undervaluation. Some economists estimate that the yuan is now undervalued by as much as 40 percent. The undervaluation of the yuan makes Chinese goods less expensive for foreigners, and it makes foreign products more expensive for Chinese consumers. The effective result is a significant subsidization of China's exports and a virtual tariff on foreign imports. Undervalued currency and the efforts of the Chinese government to intervene in the yuan’s value violate the rules of the World Trade Organization. “I have said for years the Chinese cheat on their trade agreements,” said Graham. “In South Carolina, we have seen the devastating impact illegal Chinese imports have on our domestic textile industry and the entire manufacturing sector.” Graham noted China’s access to the U.S. textile and apparel market more than doubled in 2002, growing by an astounding 117 percent and is up an additional 114 percent so far in 2003, according to recent numbers from the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. Since 1997, the U.S. textile industry has been forced to close more than 250 textile plants in the country. More than 200,000 U.S. textile workers have lost their jobs and five of this country’s largest textile mills including Pillowtex, Burlington Industries, CMI Industries, Galey & Lord, and Malden Mills have filed for bankruptcy. “Something has to be done to stop the Chinese from cheating on their trade agreements,” said Graham. “I hope this resolution gets their attention. I think it is an important first step.” Graham has also taken a lead role in pushing the Schumer-Bunning-Graham bill through the Senate. This legislation would impose a 27.5% tariff on all Chinese imports if they do not put an end to their currency manipulation. In addition, it would allow the President to remove sanctions once he certifies that China has moved to a market-based currency. The tariffs would kick in after a grace period of 180 days to ensure that Treasury officials have adequate time to work with the Chinese to institute reforms. “My resolution and the introduction of this bill will send a strong message to the Chinese that it is time for them to stop abusing our trade agreements,” said Graham. “If they want to be a part of the international community its time to be a responsible player and clean up their act. Until China is reigned in and starts playing by the rules, our manufacturing industry will continue to bleed jobs because of unfair Chinese trade practices.” Graham and several other Senators also circulated a letter to Senate colleagues seeking support for action against China. The letter invited members to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to initiate the China special textile safeguard and take other actions to protect American textile companies from Chinese abuses. “I will continue to fight for South Carolina’s manufacturing jobs, and to end the devastating flow of illegally subsidized and illegally shipped Chinese goods into this country,” said Graham. ####

Sep 25 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina State Ports Authority in Charleston will receive an $864,807 grant to improve port security. The funds will be used to purchase emergency responder equipment, detection equipment, physical security enhancements, interoperable communications equipment, and patrol vehicles including watercraft. “Port security is one of our top concerns in South Carolina,” said Graham. “We have a responsibility to protect the employees, visitors and residents who may be at risk should an emergency situation occur at the port. Additionally, the Charleston Harbor plays a key role in the economy of the Southeast and the nation. We must do all that we can to help ensure the safety of our harbors.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Sep 25 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) extends his congratulations to the employees of Bridgestone/Firestone’s Aiken County Plant for being selected by “Industry Week” magazine as one of the ten best manufacturing facilities in North America in its 14th annual Best Plants competition. “The employees at Bridgestone/Firestone are to be congratulated for this great honor,” said Graham. “An achievement such as this comes only when people work together as a team, constantly improving practices and making use of innovative technology. I have seen first hand the dedication and commitment to excellence the men and women have at this plant.” “South Carolina is proud to have this world class facility in our state. It is state-of-the-art, and is one of the cornerstones of the economy in the region.” The top ten plants were selected from over 240 facilities nominated between October 2002 and March 2003. Nominated plants reported practices and performance in such categories as benchmarking, community involvement, customer and supplier relations, employee relations, environmental and safety programs, inventory management, manufacturing operations and flexibility, market results, productivity, quality and use of technology. The Bridgestone/Firestone plant in Graniteville has won several other awards including: OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program "Star" Site 2002 South Carolina Governor's Quality Award 2002 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing ####

Sep 25 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Florence School District 3 will receive a $3,194,611 Early Reading First grant. Early Reading First supports the development of early childhood centers of excellence that focus on all areas of development especially on the early language, cognitive, and pre-reading skills that prepare children for continued school success and that serve primarily children from low-income families “This is a great investment in the future of our children,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “Early childhood education is vitally important to the successful academic and social development of students. This grant will help Florence County schools prepare young children for future academic success.” The Early Reading First program is one part of the No Child Left Behind Act, designed to improve education for all students in America. Grants are designed to help early childhood centers improve their programs, creating centers of excellence that provide young children with language and cognitive skills and an early reading foundation. Funds must be used to: Enhance children's language, cognitive, and early reading skills through professional development for teachers. Demonstrate language and reading activities developed from scientifically based reading research. Provide preschool-age children with cognitive learning opportunities in high-quality language and literature-rich environments. Use screening assessments to effectively identify preschool children who may be at risk for reading failure. Improve existing early childhood programs by using scientifically based reading research to improve all aspects of the program (including instructional materials, teaching strategies, curricula, parent engagement, and professional development). The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Sep 25 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Rock Hill School District 3 will receive a $123,670 grant to improve foreign language education programs. The funds will be used to develop German, Spanish and French foreign language instruction for grades 3-5. The program will serve as a pilot for developing and implementing a new elementary foreign language curriculum via distance learning. The school district will start the program at three sites, each focusing on one of the target languages. At the completion of the three-year grant period, the district will expand the program to twelve other elementary schools. “As our global community continues to grow, foreign language skills will become more important to succeeding in business and foreign relations,” said Graham. “These programs will help Rock Hill schools develop students with the skills necessary to become tomorrow’s leaders.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Sep 24 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victims’ Rights today held a hearing to investigate the challenges of investigating and prosecuting fraudulent crimes against the elderly. The hearing focused on the impact new technologies and an increasingly global society has had on criminal efforts to take advantage of senior citizens. The quick and easy movement across borders and jurisdictions of people, information, and money has allowed some to hide in other countries while continuing to operate their fraudulent schemes here. Due to today’s technology, these fraudulent efforts are extremely hard to detect, and even harder to prevent. The committee also heard testimony about the current state of physical abuse directed toward senior citizens, and the laws used to prosecute these crimes. “These criminals prey on the vulnerabilities of our senior citizens, and cowardly hide in the shadows overseas in an attempt to escape American law enforcement,” said Graham. “They utilize our state-of-the-art commercial infrastructure to identify, contact, and defraud America’s greatest generation. While it is difficult to combat these crimes, we have a responsibility to protect our seniors and bring these criminals to justice.” The committee heard testimony from six witnesses: Daniel L. Mihalko, Inspector In Charge Congressional and Public Affairs, United States Postal Service; the Honorable James G. Huse, Jr., Inspector General, Social Security Administration; the Honorable Christopher Chiles, Prosecutor Cabell County, West Virginia, and Vice President National District Attorney’s Association; James Wright, Director of TRIAD, National Sheriff’s Association; Lori A. Stiegel, J.D., Associate Staff Director, Commission on Law and Aging, American Bar Association; and Douglas Holbrook, Board of Directors, AARP. These individuals are on the front lines in this battle, and were asked to share their successes, challenges, and needs. Graham noted the need to formulate a multi-lateral approach to this problem, coordinating the law enforcement efforts at the federal, state, and local level. “When all levels of law enforcement work together, the country can make great strides in combating crime,” said Graham. “We have seen this approach work in reducing domestic violence and child abuse; now we must tackle elder abuse.” In this effort, Graham sees the need to stiffen penalties for criminal offenders who exploit seniors. “As far as I’m concerned, there are not enough bad things we could do to these people,” said Graham. “Slapping them on the wrist won’t deter much crime. As our senior population continues to grow, we need to strengthen and enhance the capabilities of law enforcement to combat these crimes,” said Graham. ####

Sep 24 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced school districts in Charleston, Georgetown, Richland, and York will receive federal grants to improve emergency response plans in schools.
  • Charleston County Public School District will receive $430,738.
  • Georgetown County School District will receive $109,731.
  • Richland School District 2 will receive $242,310.
  • Rock Hill School District 3 will receive $249,900.
The funds will be used to improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans at the schools in each district. Additionally, training will be provided to school personnel, students and parents in emergency response procedures. School districts will coordinate with local government, law enforcement, public safety, health, and mental health agencies. “Taking care of South Carolina’s students in the event of an emergency must be a top priority for us all,” said Graham. “These grants will help schools prepare students, staff and parents to deal with crisis situations. Additionally, they will enable schools to provide for the physical safety and emotional well being of our children.” ####

Sep 22 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina State University will receive an $810,000 grant to support their space sciences program. The funds will be used to support the University’s New Directions in Astronomy and Astrobiology project. “This grant will enable students and faculty at S.C. State to work closely with leading researchers in space science,” said Graham. “It will help train a new generation of South Carolinians to be leaders in future space technology.” NASA’s Minority University and College Education and Research Partnership Initiative in Space Science offers minority universities an opportunity to develop academic programs and/or faculty and student capabilities in space science through close partnerships with major space science research groups. South Carolina State is one of sixteen colleges and universities selected to participate in this program. ####

Sep 22 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Attorney General’s office will receive a $400,000 grant to support the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The funds will be used in South Carolina to establish and maintain a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary response to ICAC offences. The Task Force will bring together federal, state, and local law enforcement and child welfare organizations to: Conduct reactive and proactive ICAC investigations; Develop a prevention education program; Establish a case management system; Develop standardized protocol for interagency referrals; and, Increase forensic and investigative capacity through training and the acquisition of specialized equipment. “The internet has created a new set of challenges for protecting our children,” said Graham, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections, and Victims’ Rights. “These task forces educate children and parents about the potential dangers of the Internet, and bring together experts from all levels of law enforcement to catch criminals who sexually exploit or otherwise harm innocent children.” The South Carolina ICAC Task Force was started in 1998, one of the ten original programs throughout the country. Since then, the Attorney General’s office has received over $936,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to support this effort. Currently, there are 36 Task Forces across the United States. ####