Aug 04 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on news that U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings will retire from the Senate in 2004. “Senator Hollings has answered his state and nation’s call serving in World War II, as a member of the state legislature, Governor, and for more than thirty years as a U.S. Senator. “He tells you what he thinks, whether you agree with him or not. He’s one of the most direct and straightforward people I’ve met in political life. He’s also been incredibly kind to me as South Carolina’s first new Senator in thirty seven years. “Senator Hollings has a great ability to set aside philosophical differences and work with anyone for the betterment of our state. It’s a trait I admire and should serve as wise guidance for all of us representing South Carolina in Congress. “I wish him and Mrs. Hollings all the best in their new endeavors and am confident they will continue to contribute to the well-being of our state and nation.” #####

Aug 01 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Greenville, Florence, Columbia, Aiken, Anderson, Myrtle Beach, and Richland County have received community development and housing assistance grants worth more than $9.6 million dollars. The money will support the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership, and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) programs.
  • Greenville will receive $1.35 million for CDBG Programs for acquisition, demolition, and clearance of substandard properties; housing rehabilitation; direct homeownership assistance; neighborhood and infrastructure improvements in Special Emphasis Neighborhoods; and public services such as employment training and job placement, fair housing initiatives, and youth programs; $422,000 in HOME Investment Partnership funds; and $390,000 in HOPWA funds.
  • Florence will receive $421,000 for CDBG Programs primarily consisting of housing rehabilitation, affordable homeownership opportunities, public services, code enforcement, and economic development.
  • Columbia will receive $1.55 million for CDGB Programs, $914,000 for HOME Investment Partnership Programs, and $862,000 for HOPWA programs. The funds will be used to provide housing rehabilitation and new construction in the city’s neighborhoods.
  • Aiken will receive $263,000 for CDGB Programs for public services, housing rehabilitation and development, demolition, and lot clearance.
  • Anderson will receive $945,000 for CDGB Programs for acquisition, demolition and clearance of substandard properties; housing rehabilitation; public facilities improvements; fair housing initiatives; assistance to microenterprises and small businesses; and two Section 108 loan repayments.
  • Myrtle Beach will receive $244,000 for CDGB Programs to support major infrastructure improvements in the Booker T. Washington Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy area.
  • Richland County will receive $1.68 million for CDGB Programs and $647,000 for HOME Investment Partnership Programs. The funds will be used for activities including emergency housing repair, public sewer facilities, neighborhood revitalization, and planning and administration.
“This is an investment in the future and will help improve the housing needs for many South Carolinians,” said Graham. “These funds will enable people with housing needs to establish themselves in the community and contribute to the overall economic health of the state.”
  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) develops viable communities and provides decent housing and a suitable living environment by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income households.
  • The HOME Investment Partnership Program creates affordable housing for low-income households. It allows communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
  • The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) addresses the housing needs of low-income persons diagnosed with AIDS.

Jul 31 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Anderson Regional Airport will receive a $150,000 grant to install perimeter fencing. “Airport improvements help improve passenger safety and increase the state’s ability to accommodate travel,” said Graham. “It also makes the Anderson region more attractive for business investment and economic development.” The grant was made by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Jul 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $515,000 in grants to fire departments in Leesville, Gaston, Waterloo, Travelers Rest, Cheraw, Prosperity, and Olanta. “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. Leesville Circle Volunteer Fire Department will receive $18,000. Gaston Sandy Run- Calhoun County Station #31 will receive $89,001. Waterloo Waterloo Fire Department will receive $43,596. Travelers Rest Traveler’s Rest Fire Department will receive $10,800. Cheraw Brocks Mill Rural Fire Department will receive $85,176. Prosperity Fairview Volunteer Fire Department will receive $114,966. Olanta Olanta Rural Fire Department will receive $153,980. 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. ####

Jul 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $12.88 million dollar contract to Honeywell International to produce turbine nozzles for Abrams Tank engines. The work will be conducted in Greer and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2005. "South Carolina provides the U.S. military and our brave men and women in uniform with the latest in military technology," said Graham. "The employees of Honeywell should be proud of the role they play in protecting our way of life and fighting the war on terrorism." ####

Jul 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he was pleased the nomination of Judge Henry Floyd to the federal bench is moving forward. The Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing where members of the committee were allowed to question Floyd and other nominees. Floyd was nominated by President Bush in May to fill the federal district court vacancy in South Carolina left open when Judge Dennis Shedd was promoted to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. “I was pleased to testify on behalf of Judge Henry Floyd to serve on the federal bench,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “He has been a state judge for over a decade and received high marks for his performance from attorneys across the state. He has also demonstrated impartiality and civility to all who appear before him. I’m confident Judge Floyd will demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism and serve our state and nation well.” Floyd currently serves on South Carolina’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, a position he was elected to in May 1992. Previously, he served as county attorney for Pickens, commissioner on the South Carolina Forestry Commission, and as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. “I have known Henry Floyd for well over twenty years and have had the privilege to appear before him as a practicing attorney,” said Graham. “I am extremely confident in his abilities for this most important job. He will be a conservative judge who understands that his role is to interpret the law and not make the law. President Bush could not have selected a more qualified candidate or a better person.” “He has an exceptional legal mind, impeccable character, and a legacy of fair application of the law,” said Graham. “I believe his nomination to the federal bench reflects the high esteem South Carolinians have for him. I am confident he will serve the state well and faithfully execute his duties.” ####

Jul 29 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Myrtle Beach International Airport has been awarded a $3.7 million grant for airport improvements. The funds will be used to acquire land for development, purchase a handicap passenger lift device, modify the terminal building, and rehabilitate the taxiway. “Airport improvements help improve passenger safety and increase the state’s ability to accommodate travel,” said Graham. “It will not only help tourism, but also make South Carolina more attractive for business investment and economic development.” The Myrtle Beach International Airport is located in the 1st Congressional District represented by Henry Brown. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Jul 24 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Clemson University has been awarded a $306,000 grant for arthritis, musculoskeletal, skin disease research. The funds will be used for a project focusing on osteoarthritis. “I am proud of the cutting edge research being done at Clemson and South Carolina’s other universities,” said Graham. “The work they do helps improve lives.” The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Jul 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced he supports invoking the China safeguard for textiles. The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition hosted a press conference this morning to announce American textile companies will file a petition calling for the implementation of the China safeguard for textiles. Senator Graham first expressed his support for this action last week in a private meeting with Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. As part of the China Accession agreement to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. has the ability to utilize a special textile safeguard that would allow the reinstitution of quotas in categories where Chinese imports are surging. 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. The safeguard would re-establish a quota on unrestricted textile or apparel categories -- such as knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes, and cotton gloves -- for a period of one year and could be expanded for two additional one-year periods. “I have long maintained that China cheats on trade agreements,” said Graham. “The practices of Chinese companies and the policies of the Chinese government are illegal and give them an unfair advantage in the textile market. American textile companies produce superior products and do so in a fair and humane way. Given a fair playing field, they can compete with any foreign producer. That is all we are asking.” Graham noted Secretary Evans’s support for investigating and taking appropriate action against China. “I was encouraged by the response from Secretary Evans,” said Graham. “He shared our view that China’s behavior is out of bounds. The Secretary’s office is working with manufacturing industries to validate what we believe to be abuses by the Chinese government toward the American manufacturing industry, especially textiles. The Administration is willing to do that for the textile companies.” Graham also noted there is strong evidence that China is intentionally undervaluing its currency to drive down the price of its exports and to hurt U.S. manufacturers. WTO and International Monetary Fund rules prohibit currency manipulation for the purpose of gaining an export advantage. Last week, Graham signed a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow asking the department to determine if China’s currency is undervalued and if so to take appropriate action. The letter was also signed by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), and Evan Bayh (D-IN). The Chinese yuan has been tightly pegged to the US dollar in a range of 8.3 yuan per dollar since 1994. Given China's enormous growth since 1994, this fixed level most likely does not reflect its true value. Economists at Goldman Sachs have estimated that the yuan may be undervalued by 15 percent and other experts say that number could be as high as 40 percent, meaning that the Chinese intentionally lower their currency's value to make their goods and services cheap internationally. This means that when Chinese manufacturers export a product, they effectively receive a 15 percent to 40 percent subsidy on their exports, providing them with a nearly insurmountable advantage over U.S. producers. “The Treasury Department needs to look into this issue and take appropriate action to ensure the Chinese aren’t allowed to continue devaluing their currency to the detriment of our domestic industries,” concluded Graham. ####

Jul 23 2003

Bipartisan Group Announces Cease-fire on Social Security

White House Senior Economic Team Supportive

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers today announced six members of the Senate and ten members of the House of Representatives have agreed to a cease-fire on Social Security. The bipartisan group, led by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Congressman Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) and Jim Kolbe (R-Arizona), addressed the letter to the chairs of the Republican and Democratic congressional and senatorial campaign committees. “We pledge to defend candidates – Republican or Democrat – who support Social Security modernization and are willing to make tough choices to address the fiscal challenges facing Social Security. We will no longer turn a blind eye to political attack ads that accuse responsible reform advocates of wanting to dismantle Social Security or slash benefits of current retirees,” wrote the group. “The white-hot rhetoric surrounding Social Security modernization is creating an environment that punishes those who discuss reform options openly and honestly,” they said. “The American people deserve a modernized Social Security system that provides true retirement security for all Americans, while reducing the pressure on future taxpayers and on other budgetary priorities.” In a letter from the White House, President Bush’s senior economic team, Stephen Friedman, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, Joshua Bolton, Director, Office of Management and Budget, and N. Gregory Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors praised the bipartisan initiative and pledged to push forward with efforts to save Social Security. “We commend you for taking a stand against politicized rhetoric that too often interferes with bipartisan cooperation on behalf of millions of participants in the Social Security program,” wrote the presidential advisors. “The President believes modernizing Social Security to enhance its fiscal sustainability and to allow younger workers the choice to have a personal Social Security account is an important national priority.” The elected officials noted Social Security faces what some experts have called a ‘demographic train wreck’ in the coming years as the nation ages. The number of workers paying taxes to support Social Security dropped from 16-to-1 in 1950 to 3-to-1 today. Within a generation there will be only 2 workers to support each retiree. The oldest baby boomers will be eligible to retire in just 5 short years and between 2011 and 2030, the number of beneficiaries will increase 65 percent while the working, taxpaying population will increase only 8 percent. According to the programs own trustees, Social Security begins paying out more in benefits than it takes in as taxes in 2018. By 2042, Social Security will be broke and unable to pay full benefits to retirees. “It’s time for the demagoguery to stop,” said Graham. “Social Security modernization will only be achieved if we make a commitment to discuss the need for reform candidly. It is time for this Congress and President to solve the problems facing Social Security. Inaction is no longer an option. The longer we wait, the harder the task becomes.” “We must begin to talk honestly and directly about the tough choices that must be made to strengthen Social Security,” said Stenholm. “This issue is so important we cannot resort to, cannot tolerate, partisan attacks, demagoguery or irresponsible, empty rhetoric. The future of Social Security is too important for it to be used for partisan political purposes.” “As Members who have dedicated ourselves to promoting an honest and open debate on the issue of Social Security, we call on the chairs of the respective House and Senate campaign committees to engage in a responsible dialogue about the future of the Social Security system,” said Kolbe. “Demagoguery by both parties do little more than fan political fires and contribute to the skepticism many Americans have about Congress's ability to tackle tough issues.” #####