Feb 03 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said President Bush’s budget submitted to Congress today is another sign the Administration intends to aggressively push forward with the mixed oxide fuel (MOX) mission at Savannah River Site. President Bush requested Congress devote $402 million in the coming year for construction of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility at SRS. Under MOX, surplus weapons-grade plutonium from the U.S. nuclear arsenal will be converted into fuel to power a commercial nuclear reactor to produce electricity. “President Bush’s budget shows his commitment to moving forward on the MOX mission at SRS,” said Graham. “It’s a very important mission, not only for the country, but for the world.” Graham, along with the man he succeeded in the U.S. Senate, Strom Thurmond, authored legislation signed into law by President Bush that prevents the state from becoming the permanent storage site for plutonium. The federal government faces millions of dollars in fines and a legal obligation to remove plutonium from South Carolina if the MOX mission doesn’t go forward in a timely manner. Graham also noted the president’s budget contained good news on cleanup efforts at the Site. Among the notable items in President Bush’s request to Congress: A $124 million increase for DOE spending in South Carolina bringing the total to $1.8 billion; An additional $109 million for accelerated cleanup at SRS. DOE will now spend $1.35 billion on cleanup at the Site. “I’m pleased the President has kept his word and continues to put forward budgets and policies that help us clean up the Cold War legacy materials on the site while moving forward with important programs, like MOX, that will help make the world a safer place,” said Graham. “We’ve still got a long way to go in the budget process, but I think the President is getting us off to a good start.”

Jan 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina) today announced the Department of Health and Human Services National Cancer Institute has awarded $207,100 to the University of South Carolina for cancer research. “Cancer is one of the nation’s leading killers,” Graham said. “We have a responsibility to do all that we can to eradicate this deadly disease. I’m glad to see our state playing an important role in the battle against cancer.” The funds will be used for the University’s Selective Induction of Estrogen Conjugative project. The grant will help support research through 2007.

Jan 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today supported the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The 10-9 vote in committee was along party lines as Republicans supported and Democrats opposed the nomination. President Bush nominated Estrada in May 2001 but the nomination was blocked by the Democratic majority on the Judiciary Committee. “Mr. Estrada has unbelievable academic credentials and outstanding work experience,” said Graham. “He’s a solid person and a solid pick for the position. “The special interest politics of the left have great sway over many Senators in the Democratic party,” said Graham, noting the long delay in moving the nomination forward. “His critics rely on people in the shadows and on the fringe whose biggest objection to Mr. Estrada is he doesn’t see life their way. It’s unfortunate that liberal special interest groups and many Democratic Senators are opposing this qualified nominee.” Born in Honduras, Estrada came to the United States when he was 17 years old. He spoke only rudimentary English yet within five years he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College in New York. He went on to earn his law degree, with honors, from Harvard University. Estrada worked at the U.S. Justice Department under both Democrat and Republican presidents and is a member of one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. Estrada has also won 10 of the 15 cases he argued before the Supreme Court. “His nomination to the Circuit Court is another example of the promise America holds to immigrants,” said Graham. “This fine man entered the United States as a teenager and has soared. He will bring honor to the bench.”

Jan 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina) today announced the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Medical University of South Carolina a $200,000 grant for repairs and upgrades of existing research facilities. “The research conducted at MUSC leads to improvements in healthcare for all South Carolinians,” Graham said. “Having state-of-the-art facilities is a large component of cutting edge research.” The funds awarded to the Medical University will come from the National Center for Research Resources.

Jan 27 2003

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he agreed with President Bush in many areas of the State of the Union address to the nation. “The president is being very responsible holding Saddam Hussein accountable for his weapons of mass destruction,” said Graham. “The French, Germans, and United Nations at large are not being as responsible as they should be. “Iraq had hundreds of artillery shells with chemical weapons, two batches of anthrax material, and hundreds of tons of nerve agents in their 1998 inventory. Now they are not accounted for. I hope the world would follow the president’s lead and make Saddam Hussein account for these materials and other information about his weapons of mass destruction program. “The Iraqi response of ‘we have no weapons of mass destruction,’ is a flat-out lie,” continued Graham. “I hope the world will get behind the president in making sure this man cannot continue his weapons program. He either needs to be disarmed or replaced.” Senator Graham also said he was very pleased with President Bush’s economic stimulus package to get the American economy moving again. “Every time you propose cutting taxes, you get criticized by people who want to keep taxpayer money in Washington to spend on government programs,” said Graham. “The economy needs a shot in the arm. I believe the president’s proposal provides that shot in the arm and makes sense in the long term. “In the short term, we need to stimulate the economy and in the long term we must create better investment opportunities. What we don’t need is to grow the size of the federal government in Washington. “Phasing in the marriage tax penalty repeal at a faster level to increase consumer spending makes sense. Increasing the child tax credit up to $1,000 from $600 to help families to raise their kids makes sense. Stopping the taxation of dividends because it’s a double tax makes sense. These are all good ideas as well as adding a capital gains tax cut to spur on economic activity.” Finally, Graham said he looked forward to working with President Bush to save Social Security for future generations of Americans and pass a Medicare prescription drug benefit into law. “President Bush and I both want to see Congress address the looming bankruptcy of Social Security head-on,” said Graham. “We cannot sit on the sidelines and watch Social Security go bankrupt. Unfortunately, some people prefer to stick their head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. That approach doesn’t make the problem go away; it only makes the problem worse. “I also look forward to working with the president as we strengthen and improve Medicare for the millions of seniors who rely on the program,” said Graham. “There are a couple provisions I want to see in any Medicare prescription drug benefit. The first is that consumer choice must be part of the mix. The federal government shouldn’t be allowed to tell seniors what drugs to get. I don’t want a patient to have to get permission from a federal bureaucrat to get their prescription filled. That is a decision left to the doctor and the patient. “The second is that every senior needs to help pay for prescription drugs based on their ability to help themselves. Our well-to-do seniors should have to pay more for premiums than fixed-income seniors. I think it’s only fair and we must do this to afford the program.”

Jan 27 2003

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they will provide the Town of Awendaw with more than $2 million for improvements to the town’s water and sewer system. The award consists of $1,725,900 in grant money and a $482,500 low interest loan. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina) was pleased with the announcement. “I’m excited about the positive impact this will have on the people of Awendaw. Projects like this improve lives and invest in the future of the community,” Graham said. The money will be used for a variety of projects including the construction of two wells, an elevated storage tank, a treatment/disinfection control building, a mobile generator, and about nine miles of distribution lines. This project will directly benefit 237 residential users of the town’s water and sewer system.

Jan 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- A full four months behind schedule, the federal appropriations process for FY 2003 is finally moving forward. Last night, the Senate passed the $390 billion-plus Omnibus Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2003 which authorizes federal government spending for the current fiscal year which began on October 1, 2002. “I’m very proud of my Republican colleagues for having the discipline to pass last years’ appropriation bills while staying within the budget request of the president,” said Graham. “Several Democrats, notably Zell Miller of Georgia, were helpful. However at the end of the day the new Republican majority was able to pass 11 appropriation bills in 3 weeks – a task Senator Daschle and his colleagues were unable to do in an entire year.” Graham noted a major area of particular importance to South Carolina was the measures $3.2 billion in drought relief for farmers and ranchers. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared all 46 counties in the state disaster areas for agriculture. In addition, the bill contains authorization for money to be spent on projects in South Carolina. They include:
  • $9 million for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division;
  • $8.25 million for the South Carolina State Ports Authority;
  • $7.5 million for the South Carolina Judicial Department;
  • $5 million for Anderson County transit;
  • $2.5 million for US 17 improvements in Georgetown;
  • An increase of $2 million to the South Carolina Association of School Administrators in Columbia for the Blue Ribbon School Reform Project and Interactive Library;
  • An increase of $2 million to the College of Charleston for the School of Science and Mathematics;
  • $1.5 million to provide community-based, cost-effective alternate programs for juveniles who are, have been or maybe subject to compulsory care, supervision or incarceration in public or private institutions in several states, including South Carolina;
  • $1.2 million to Spartanburg for the Arkwright Connector;
  • $1 million for Columbia Airport Air Traffic Control;
  • $1 million to Stop the Violence for programs to reduce crime and create substantial neighborhood development through a successful model of community involvement;
  • $1 million to the City of Columbia for redevelopment of the Drew Park Wellness Center;
  • $1 million for the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission for Snowden Community Wastewater Collection Projects;
  • $1 million to the City of Charleston Commission of Public Works for wastewater tunnel replacement;
  • $1 million to the City of Greenville for water and sewer infrastructure related to the Greenville-Spartanburg Neighborhood Redevelopment Project;
  • $900,000 to the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations in Charleston for job training;
  • $823,000 for the United States Marshals Service in Anderson for construction costs;
  • $750,000 for the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Regional Centers for Operation Ceasefire in Charleston;
  • $700,000 to the City of Charleston for pre- and post homeownership classes;
  • $400,000 to Myrtle Beach for dunes restoration;
  • $250,000 to the University of South Carolina Children’s Law Office for programs to improve the professional practice in child maltreatment and juvenile justice in South Carolina;
  • $200,000 for Darkness to Light in Charleston which seeks to prevent child abuse and obtain services for victims of child abuse by providing additional information about the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse;
  • $65,000 for the United States Marshals Service in Anderson for courthouse security equipment;
  • Savannah River Site appropriations include: $30 million for Highly Enriched Uranium blend down, $33 million for the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility, $93 million for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, $2 million for Plutonium Packaging and Stabilization, $14.8 million for High Level Waste Removal. “We displayed fiscal discipline in passing the budget and demonstrated we're capable of leading the country,” continued Graham. “Every Senator was asked to give up some projects and make sacrifices for the common good. I'm very proud of my Republican colleagues for sticking together as almost all the votes adding additional spending items to the measure were straight party line votes.” The Senate will now go to conference with the House of Representatives on the measure.