Sep 09 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and a bipartisan group of Senators today unveiled legislation to end Chinese trade abuses and restrict illegal Chinese imports. Today, Graham introduced a resolution in the Senate calling 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. 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 this bill will send a strong message from the Senate for corrective action against Chinese trade abuses,” said Graham. “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 09 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced North Charleston will receive $372,562 in federal aid to support Operation Ceasefire. The funds, part of a federal earmark previously announced by Graham, will be used to fund overtime expenses for Operation Ceasefire response teams. Operation Ceasefire is an initiative to decrease gun violence in North Charleston and surrounding communities through monitoring of technology designed to detect gun fire. “This is an excellent example of using modern technology to fight violent crime and protect South Carolinians,” said Graham. “Law enforcement officers risk their lives to protect others; they deserve the best equipment and technology available.” The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Sep 09 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement regarding the passing of Jim Phillips: “I can not adequately express the significance of Jim Philip’s life and the effect his passing has on the Clemson Family. Personally, he was a true friend and one of the most delightful people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. God gave him a tremendous gift which he shared with so many for all too brief a period of time. I join in the celebration of Jim’s life and the mourning of his passing with the entire Clemson family and all those who are fortunate enough to call Jim Phillips a friend. He was truly one of the best in the business and will be deeply missed.” ###

Sep 09 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) were joined in Washington, DC today by a delegation of lawmakers from both states to meet with Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. The delegation demonstrated the support of both states for constructing a Modern Pit Facility at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC. In addition to Graham and Chambliss, the group consisted of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-South Carolina), U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Georgia), South Carolina Speaker of the House David Wilkins, S.C. State Senator Hugh Leatherman, S.C. State Senator Tommy Moore and S.C. State Senator Greg Ryberg. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has also been a strong advocate on behalf of the project. “This is one of the most productive meetings I have attended since I have been in Congress,” said Graham. “South Carolina and Georgia presented a united front to secure the modern pit facility, stressing the ability of SRS to go to work immediately on the project if necessary. Governor Sanford’s presence, along with Governor Perdue’s (GA) support sends a clear message that the leadership in both states is behind the MPF. Senator Chambliss and I will do everything possible to push the selection of Savannah River Site, and there is bipartisan support coming from Senators Fritz Hollings and Zell Miller. Our message was simple and clear, the Savannah River Site is the most secure, competent, and cost effective location for building a Modern Pit Facility in support of our future defense needs.” “Senator Chambliss has been great to work with,” said Graham. “He has been an able teammate in establishing a bright future for the Savannah River Site and its employees.” “We impressed on Secretary Abraham that no other site under consideration has any experience with raw plutonium,” said Chambliss. “The Savannah River Site has a well trained work force, infrastructure, and the space to do the job and provide proper security. SRS has processed this type of material in a safe and secure manner for decades. Placing this facility at the Savannah River Site is good for national security, as well as for Georgia and South Carolina. I am pleased to work as team with my colleagues from Georgia and South Carolina to make this happen for the Augusta community. ” "Our meeting this afternoon with Secretary Abraham was extremely positive. Our message was crystal clear - MPF belongs at the Savannah River Site," said Barrett. "It just makes sense to have the Modern Pitt Facility at SRS; we have full community support, the best safety record around and on-site expertise that is unmatched anywhere else in the nation. I look forward to working with the other members of the South Carolina and Georgia delegations in the coming weeks and months to ensure our message continues to be heard loud and clear." “In the interest of national security and saving our hard-working taxpayers money, the Savannah River Site is the absolute best location for a Modern Pit Facility," said Norwood. “It was clear from today's meeting with Secretary Abraham - having a unified and strong voice from Georgia and South Carolina to carry that message only helps our effort to make that a reality.” Georgia Gov. Perdue has conveyed his strong support for the project to Secretary Abraham with a follow-up call slated in the coming days. “The Savannah River Site is a great location for the MPF. It has a full array of supporting infrastructure and systems already in place as well as an unparalleled safety record," Perdue said. "SRS has a keen interest in protecting the public and the environment. That is why the surrounding communities including Georgia's second largest metropolitan area are excited about the possibility of gaining this facility.” If a facility is constructed and SRS is selected, the Site would manufacture PITs, the hollow spheres of metallic plutonium that trigger hydrogen fusion in atomic bombs. The United States has lacked a PIT production facility since 1989, when it shut down the Rocky Flats plant in Colorado. SRS is one of five candidates for the facility, an estimated $4 billion economic development project that would employ roughly 800 workers during construction and roughly 1,500 workers once the facility becomes operational. ####

Sep 03 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive $496,750 to enhance the safety of public and private highway-grade crossings along federally designated high-speed rail corridors. The funds can be used for a number of hazard elimination activities including: crossing closure; crossing consolidation or grade separation; installation or upgrade of automated warning devices to include bells, flashing lights and/or gates; improvements to track circuitry, crossing surface upgrades, crossing sight distances or illumination; installation of advanced train control or traffic control systems; and other related project development and engineering activities. “This money will improve the safety of South Carolina’s railroad crossings and help save lives,” said Graham. “In addition, the upgrades provided by this grant will act as a stimulus for bringing high-speed rail to South Carolina. This is a great investment toward future economic development.” The grant has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Sep 03 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced $677,508 in grants to fire departments in Greenwood, Murrells Inlet, Olar, Pamplico, Spartanburg, Starr and Yemassee. “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 Grants 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. Greenwood: The Northwest Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department will receive a $54,708 grant. Murrells Inlet: The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District will receive a $203,402 grant. Olar: The Govan Fire Department will receive a $10,998 grant. Pamplico: The Hannah-Salem-Friendfield Fire District will receive a $178,830 grant. Spartanburg: The North Spartanburg Area Fire & Rescue District will receive a $62,108 grant. Starr: The Starr Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $41,462 grant. Yemassee: Yemassee Fire & Rescue will receive a $126,000 grant to purchase a new firefighting vehicle. The Assistance 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 were made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

Sep 02 2003

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded the state $20.3 million to enhance preparations for a bio-terror attack. The funds come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). CDC will provide the state $13.2 million to strengthen public health preparedness for bioterrorism, outbreaks of infectious disease, and public health emergencies. The remaining $7.1 million from HRSA is to be used for hospital preparedness and to develop surge capacity to deal with mass casualty events. The funds are part of a $1.4 billion package to states. “During these difficult times, it’s critical our state be prepared to deal with a bio-terror attack,” said Graham. “Terrorists groups have shown an interest in obtaining biological weapons and no one doubts their willingness to use them. It’s important our medical personnel have the proper response plan and training to deal with this real threat.” In March of this year, Graham announced $20 million dollars from HHS for South Carolina during an earlier round of bio-terror preparedness funding. ####

Aug 27 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Department of Education will receive a $1.265 million grant to support the South Carolina Public Charter Schools (PCSP) Grant Program. The PCSP Grant Program will support the five charter schools that were established in 2002-03, eight charter schools approved to open in 2003-04, and 20 additional schools that will open in 2004 and 2005. The money will enable the South Carolina Department of Education to provide implementation funds to support the schools. Twenty planning groups will also initiate the process to establish new charter schools. “Charter schools are an innovative way to improve education,” said Graham, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the U.S. Senate. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####