Mar 14 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Katie Britt (R-Alabama) introduced the Laken Riley Act. Companion legislation passed the House last week in a bipartisan vote of 251-170.

Laken Riley’s alleged murderer entered the country illegally. He was arrested for committing another crime, but subsequently released. Currently President Biden has the authority to require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain illegal aliens who commit theft, burglary, larceny, or shoplifting offenses. To date, Biden has been largely unwilling to exercise that authority.

The Laken Riley Act would close this loophole in the law, requiring ICE to arrest and detain illegal aliens who commit these crimes and mandate that these aliens are detained until they are removed from the United States so they cannot re-offend and commit further crimes. Additionally, this legislation would ensure that states have standing to bring civil actions against federal officials who refuse to enforce immigration law or who violate the law.

“I greatly appreciate Senator Britt’s leadership on this issue. It is imperative we change our immigration policies now, and end catch and release,” said Graham. “Laken Riley’s murder is likely a result of the Biden Administration’s open border policy. The Biden Administration is waiving people in. And even if one of those people commits a crime and is detained by law enforcement, the Biden Administration’s policy is to let them out. That must end now. The Laken Riley Act is an absolute necessity. Senator Schumer should bring this bill to the floor immediately.”

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Eric Schmitt (R-Missouri), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) are cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate.

This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Mike Collins (Republican, GA-10).

The full text of the bill can be found HERE.

Mar 12 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced that projects for the Savannah River Site, the South Carolina Army National Guard, and the surrounding region will receive funding as a part of the first Fiscal Year 2024 spending package.

Graham made these funding requests to the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member. 

Savannah River Site:

Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility: $1 billion will go towards continuing construction of the facility that will produce plutonium pits to support the sustainability and effectiveness of our nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Savannah River Radioactive Liquid Tank Waste Stabilization and Disposition: $986.5 million will go towards ensuring the safe removal, processing, and disposition of radioactive waste.

Tritium Finishing Facility at Savannah River Site: $35 million will go towards the replacement of a nearly 70-year-old facility. Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen gas, is critical to the functionality of nuclear weapons.

Savannah River Community and Regulatory Support (Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties): $12.3 million in payments to communities to offset losses in property taxes due to the presence of non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries.

South Carolina Army National Guard:

National Guard Readiness Center: $20 million will go towards construction of a new Readiness Center designed to meet the training, administrative, logistical, and maintenance needs of the South Carolina Army National Guard.

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Mar 09 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced that multiple projects across South Carolina will receive funding as a part of the first Fiscal Year 2024 spending package.

Graham made these funding requests to the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member.

Some of the South Carolina projects that will receive funding from the first package are highlighted below:

  • Aiken (city): $3 million for Croft Mill sewer basin improvements.
  • Anderson (county): $5 million to modernize the I-85 interchange.
  • Berkley, Calhoun, Dorchester and Orangeburg Counties: $23.8 million to Lakes Marion and Moultrie for water infrastructure expansion.
  • Bluffton: $1.34 million for law enforcement equipment.
  • Cayce: $540,000 for a pump station.
  • Charleston (city): $25 million to Charleston Harbor for the deepening project reimbursement.
  • Charleston (county): $23 million to the Charleston County Aviation Authority for parking aprons.
  • Charleston (city): $6.5 million to construct the Joint Base Charleston’s National Guard Readiness Center.
  • Cheraw: $4.4 million for water treatment plant construction.
  • Chester (county): $10 million to Chester County Wastewater Recovery for wastewater improvement.
  • Clemson University: $7 million to the Livestock Poultry Health’s Veterinary Diagnostic Center.
  • Columbia: $575,000 for a water main replacement.
  • Columbia: $10 million to eliminate rail crossings on Assembly Street.
  • Columbia: $101 million to Fort Jackson for phase two of the Reception Barracks Complex construction project.
  • Florence (city): $5 million for water treatment plant expansion and upgrades.
  • Georgetown (city): $6.5 million for the Georgetown Harbor deepening.
  • Greenville (city): $10 million to the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center for taxiway improvements.
  • Greenwood (county): $900,000 for a 911 technology upgrade for the County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Lancaster (county): $770,000 for law enforcement vehicles for the County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Newberry (city): $88,000 for improved law enforcement technology and equipment.
  • Richland County: $1 million to Richland County Sheriff’s Department for a unified command post.
  • Rock Hill: $1.2 million to the city of Rock Hill for wastewater discharge.
  • Spartanburg (county): $10 million to Startex-Jackson-Wellford Duncan water district for water storage.
  • Sumter (city): Funds for the purchase of 4 Narcotics Analyzers.
  • University of South Carolina: $4.5 million for semiconductor manufacturing.
  • University of South Carolina: $10 million to the ROTC facility.

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Mar 07 2024

WASHINGTON – Last night, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made a unanimous consent request to call for the Senate to immediately pass legislation to combat the sexual exploitation of children online and hold Big Tech accountable. Graham was joined on the floor in support of this effort by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

Graham made a request to pass the EARN IT Act of 2023, the STOP CSAM Act of 2023, and the SHIELD Act of 2023. The passage of EARN IT and STOP CSAM was blocked by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). The passage of the SHIELD Act was blocked by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey).

  • GRAHAM: “The largest companies in America – social media outlets – that make hundreds of billions of dollars a year, you can’t sue if they do damage to your family by using their product because of Section 230 [of the Communications Decency Act].” https://youtu.be/e0mOcaUQuWE?si=7GUxm0qkEQEHzxuq&t=16
  • GRAHAM: “All these bills, Madam President, have passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously… We have different views about the way the world should work and the role of government in our lives. But we’ve come together on this… We see the problem the same. We hear from our constituents, who are helpless and hopeless. We’re going to keep this up until we bring these [companies] to heel.” https://youtu.be/e0mOcaUQuWE?si=5t92zQnaEAb23f9M&t=102  

Click here to watch Graham’s remarks

Click here to watch the full unanimous consent request  

BACKGROUND:

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January, Senator Graham pressed Big Tech CEOs on their failures to protect kids online and announced his plan to call for votes on online child safety bills that had passed the committee.

Graham called for the passage of bills that unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • The EARN IT Act of 2023 (S. 1207):
    • Senators Graham (R-South Carolina) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) originally introduced the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act in March 2020. Since then, it has been reintroduced twice. Each time, the EARN IT Act has been unanimously voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    • The EARN IT Act removes blanket immunity for violations of laws related to online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
    • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gives “interactive computer services” significant immunity from civil liability, as well as state criminal liability for third party content on their platforms. Sadly, given this limited liability, many companies do not aggressively go after online child sexual exploitation.
    • Bill text of S. 1207.
  • The STOP CSAM Act of 2023 (S. 1199):
    • Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Strengthening Transparency and Obligations to Protect Children Suffering from Abuse and Mistreatment (STOP CSAM) Act in April 2023. It was unanimously voted out of committee in May 2023.
    • According to Senator Durbin, the bill “cracks down on the proliferation of child sex abuse material online, supports victims, and increases accountability and transparency for online platforms.”
    • Bill text of S. 1199.
  • The SHIELD Act of 2023 (S. 412):
    • Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution (SHIELD) Act in February 2023. It was unanimously voted out of committee in May 2023. A previous version of the bill was first introduced in 2017.
    • According to Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn, the SHIELD Act “would provide federal law enforcement with the tools they need to crack down on serious privacy violations. The bill establishes narrow federal criminal liability for people who distribute others’ private or explicit images online without consent. The bill also fills in existing gaps in federal law so that prosecutors can hold all those who exploit children accountable. Current state laws offer incomplete and inconsistent protection for victims of image exploitation.”
    • Bill text of S. 412.

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Feb 28 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) announced that he would step down as Senate Republican leader in November.    

“Senator McConnell’s announcement that he will not seek Republican leadership in the next Congress is truly a ‘passing of the torch’ moment for the U.S. Senate.

“Senator McConnell will be remembered as one of the most effective leaders in the history of the U.S. Senate.

“Through sheer force of will, he has shaped the federal judiciary in a conservative fashion.

“No one in the Republican Party has echoed the themes of peace through strength – the Reagan model of national security – better than Senator Mitch McConnell.

“He passionately believes in a strong America leading from the front and has been uncompromising in his view that we must deal with threats rather than wish them away.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Senator McConnell in the coming days and months as we address major challenges like securing the southern border and helping our friends in Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

“There is much to be done, and I’m sure that Mitch will run through the finish line as Republican leader.

“History will record that Senator Mitch McConnell made a substantial and positive impact on the state he loves and the nation he adores.”

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Feb 20 2024

WASHINGTON – On Friday, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) visited the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas. They met with officials from U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laredo Field Office, and Homeland Security Investigations San Antonio, and toured the Del Rio Sector soft-sided facility and the Eagle Pass Port of Entry on the Eagle Pass International Bridge.

Feb 07 2024

WASHINGTON – Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), are investigating the financial support underpinning the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights, which sponsors events featuring anti-Semitic speakers, individuals who justify violence against the State of Israel, terrorist sympathizers, and advocates of domestic radicalism.