Dec 17 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $418,000 in grants to fire departments in Drayton, Edgefield, Lando, Marietta, McColl, and Myrtle Beach. “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.” Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Grants The Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety 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. Drayton Drayton Fire Department will receive $135,186. Edgefield Westside Volunteer Fire Department will receive $71,530. Lando Lando Fire Department will receive $91,017. Marietta Slater-Marietta Fire Department will receive $68,850. Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach Fire Department will receive $24,300. Fire Prevention Grant The Fire Prevention Grants provide funding for public education and awareness activities, fire code enforcement activities, fire inspector certifications, the purchase and installation of smoke alarms and fire suppression systems, wildland fire mitigation, and arson prevention and detection activities. McColl McColl Fire Department will receive $27,900. 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. ####

Dec 17 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced four South Carolina organizations will receive over $1.89 million in federal grants to carry out Youthbuild programs in Columbia, Manning and North Charleston. This program trains disadvantaged youth ages 16 to 24 in the construction trades while providing education training so that they can obtain general equivalency high school diplomas. In addition, the youth receive necessary social services, training in leadership skills, opportunities for placement in apprenticeship programs and economic self-sufficiency. The construction training component of the program results in the construction or rehabilitation of housing for the homeless and low-income families. “This program provides an excellent opportunity for young people in South Carolina to learn a trade and receive a solid education,” said Graham. “It will help prepare them for the rigors of the working world, and empower them to become self-sufficient members of the community.” Programs receiving grants include: Columbia Telamon Corporation will receive $394,000. Manning Macedonia Community Development Corp. will receive $400,000. North Charleston Palmetto Community Hope Foundation will receive $700,000. North Charleston Housing Authority will receive $400,000. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Dec 14 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement: "The big winner with Saddam's capture are the Iraqi people. Their oppressor has been accounted for and will soon be brought to justice to meet his fate. The capture is also a tremendous morale booster for our men and women fighting the war on terrorism. It is the direct result of their bravery and perseverance. The capture of Saddam will lead to many breakthroughs in the reconstruction of Iraq. "It would indeed be a tragedy if the governments who lent money to Saddam now insist the Iraqi people pay the debts of their oppressor. I hope the capture of Saddam will help former Secretary of State James Baker in his efforts to seek forgiveness of these debts. Any county who insists on repayment by the Iraqi people for debts occurred by their oppressor has lost their moral way. "Finally, this is a great day for the Bush Administration because it validates their unwavering policy of holding those who are part of the war on terror accountable." #####

Dec 12 2003

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), today sent the following letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking the Secretary to provide specific information about the disposition of detainees being held at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay. The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld Secretary Department of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, D.C. 20301-1000 Dear Mr. Secretary: As you know, we recently visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to get a first-hand look at the situation regarding the confinement of detainees from the conflict in Afghanistan. We commend you on the outstanding efforts taken thus far to treat all individuals detained at Guantanamo humanely and, as appropriate and in accordance with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Third World Geneva Convention of 1949. We are particularly impressed by the professionalism of our military personnel. The treatment of the detainees is not an issue. However, a serious concern arises over the disposition of the detainees – a considerable number of whom have been held for two years. Given this concern, we respectfully ask that you provide explicit information on two critical issues. First, we ask that you advise us as to when you will make a determination on the final disposition of the detainees’ status. Second, we request that you state specifically when you will begin the process pursuant to the Order of the Military Commissions that the President signed in November 2001, and how it will work in practice. Mr. Secretary, our recent visit to see the detainee situation for ourselves provided an enormously useful opportunity to understand the essential work that has been done there, which we have supported. Yet, we firmly believe it is now time to make a decision on how the United States will move forward regarding the detainees, and to take that important next step. A serious process must be established in the very near term either to formally treat and process the detainees as war criminals or to return them to their countries for appropriate judicial action. We look forward to your reply, and thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this important issue. Sincerely, John McCain, United States Senator Lindsey Graham, United States Senator Maria Cantwell, United States Senator ####

Dec 10 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement regarding the Supreme Court ruling upholding campaign finance reform. “I am very pleased with the Supreme Court ruling upholding the campaign finance reform bill signed into law by President Bush. No longer will unlimited soft money be allowed to buy political access and pollute the political system. The days of the ten million dollar soft money checks are over. The big winners are Americans whose voice has been shut out because of the role big money has played in American politics over the past thirty years.” “The ruling reaffirms my belief that money is property, not speech. The practice of attacking political candidates from the shadows without any accountability is over. It will no longer be possible for unlimited money to be spent by unnamed groups shortly before an election for the purpose of destroying someone’s life.” ####

Dec 10 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive $5.2 million in federal grants to enhance port security in the state. “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, South Carolina’s ports play a key role in the economy of the Southeast and the nation. We must do all that we can to help ensure our ports remain safe, and open for business.” The following grants will be awarded in South Carolina: Charleston
  • $1.787 million to Rhodia Inc. for chemical site security enhancements including physical enhancement and surveillance.
  • $455,250 to South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) for Columbus Street closed circuit television (CCTV) enhancements.
  • $179,425 to Allied Terminals Inc. for surveillance at the Charleston Marine Facility.
Mount Pleasant
  • $700,000 to SCSPA for Wando Welch Terminal CCTV.
  • $271,264 to SCSPA for Wando Terminal access control.
North Charleston
  • $650,000 to SCSPA for North Charleston Terminal CCTV.
  • $500,000 to SCSPA for North Charleston Terminal lighting.
  • $500,000 to the Shell Lubricants for security enhancements at the Charleston plant.
Port Royal
  • $182,080 to SCSPA for Port Royal lighting.
The grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

Dec 10 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $645,000 in grants to fire departments in Beaufort, Cheraw, North Augusta, Seneca, and West Columbia. “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. Beaufort Burton Fire District will receive $275,674. Cheraw Cheraw Fire Department will receive $126,014. North Augusta County Line Volunteer Fire Department will receive $95,891. Seneca Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department will receive $101,267. West Columbia West Columbia Fire Department will receive $46,883. 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. ####

Dec 04 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $340,000 in grants to fire departments in Chesnee, Honea Path, and Lancaster. “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. Chesnee Cherokee Springs Fire District will receive $115,650 Honea Path Keowee Volunteer Fire Department will receive $93,929 for the purchase of a firefighting vehicle. Friendship Fire Department will receive $13,230. Lancaster Bell Town Volunteer Fire Department will receive $121,500 for the purchase of a new firefighting vehicle. 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. ####

Dec 03 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today expressed his support for the tariffs currently placed on imported steel. Recent published reports have indicated the Bush Administration is planning to repeal the tariffs placed on foreign steel entering the U.S. market. “I hope the President will not rescind the steel tariffs he imposed to combat the dumping of foreign steel imports into the American market. The European and Asian imports are produced with heavy government subsidies and sold at prices that are sometimes below the production costs of American manufacturers. The foreign government subsidies amount to an unfair trade practice. “The steel tariffs implemented 18 months ago have allowed American steel manufacturers to regain some ground. Even with the tariffs the problem facing the steel industry is by no means totally corrected. “America’s will to protect manufacturing jobs from unfair trade practices must be greater than the will of other nations to capture American market share. If we abandon our efforts to correct unfair practices in steel, we are only empowering and encouraging the same practices in other areas of our economy. “It is not too much to ask other countries to play by the rules. If we fail to fight unjust trade practices our economy will continue to suffer and we will continue to lose American manufacturing jobs.” BACKGROUND: President Bush implemented the tariffs in 2001 following an investigation conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which unanimously determined the U.S. steel industry was being seriously injured by unfair foreign competition. The phased import tariffs were designed to provide a three year window to enable domestic steel makers to recover, consolidate, and modernize enough to compete in the world market. President Bush also announced plans to negotiate with our trading partners to reverse what he termed a “50 year legacy of foreign government intervention in the market and direct financial support of their steel industries.” In its recently released report on the effects of the steel remedy, the ITC reported to the President that the domestic steel industry is effectively using this temporary respite to adjust to competition. However, the industry is depending on the three years it was promised to complete the restructuring and consolidation process. ####

Nov 25 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted against legislation adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 54 to 44. It will now be sent to President Bush for his signature. “Some are calling this bill the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Graham. “I think it’s going to be more like New Coke. Sounds like a great idea until you actually try it.” “We’re adding another floor to a house that isn’t built on a stable foundation,” said Graham. “Medicare is already scheduled to go bankrupt. Reform of the Medicare system and adding a prescription drug benefit were supposed to go hand-in-hand. Instead of sticking with that approach, we went 180 degrees the other way by adding a costly new benefit and dropping reform.” Graham voted against the original Senate proposal but remained hopeful over the past several months that the House-Senate conference committee would produce a plan that offered real reform and a prescription drug benefit for seniors. He said there were some aspects of the conference report he supported such as the provisions means-testing benefits for wealthy seniors, health savings accounts giving seniors more control over their healthcare, and some preventative health measures. Additionally, Graham supported repealing cuts in Medicare reimbursements for doctors’ services and support for rural hospitals. But on balance, the provisions Graham supported were limited in scope and not enough to garner his support for the bill. Graham noted several shortcomings of the bill including:
  • Lack of effective cost containment. Graham expressed real concerns the cost of the program, estimated to cost approximately $400 billion over the next 10 years, could spiral upward at a much greater rate than predicted. He noted the bill contained many ‘donut holes,’ gaps in coverage, and that future Congress’ will push to close these holes thereby increasing costs.
  • Lack of real reform. Medicare as it’s currently structured is a government command-and-controlled health care plan. Seniors currently lack any real choice in Medicare and the bill didn’t offer them enough freedom over their health care.
“At the end of the day, I believe prescription drug use will explode and the reforms will be restricted,” said Graham. “The few reforms in the bill will give way to a political effort to increase spending because the program as structured allows uncontrolled expansion. Medicare is already is serious jeopardy. I am afraid we’re simply tacking a new benefit onto a broken system that America’s grandchildren cannot afford. “I support giving senior citizens access to affordable prescription drugs, and modernizing Medicare to make it work in the 21st century,” said Graham. “In order to provide comprehensive coverage, including prescription drugs, Medicare must be reformed to make it more efficient and less of a red-tape bound bureaucracy. I’m truly disappointed we didn’t accomplish those objectives in this bill. We missed a golden opportunity.” ####