Nov 03 2003
Wes Hickman/Kevin BishopWASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the state of South Carolina will receive over $35 million in federal grant money for homeland security in fiscal year 2004. “These funds will be used to provide South Carolina’s first responders with the best training and equipment available, and educate every citizen about family safety and community preparedness,” said Graham. “Local law enforcement plays a key role in preventing terrorist acts and these funds will help ensure South Carolina’s law enforcement agencies have the tools necessary to protect our state and the nation.” The money consists of funding for three programs:
- $26,828,000 for first responders from the State Homeland Security Grant Program. The funds will help state and local public safety and law enforcement personnel pay for planning, training, equipment, exercises and other costs associated with enhancing the capabilities on a state and local level to prevent, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks.
- $7,961,000 for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program. This program will provide law enforcement communities with funds to enhance their capabilities to share information to preempt terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerability of certain high value targets, recognize the potential development of a threat, provide intervention activities before a threat could be executed, enhance interoperability communications and assist in management and administration. The funds can be used for these activities within the areas of planning, organization, training, exercises and equipment from an authorized equipment list that includes an expanded category for law enforcement equipment related to threat intervention, such as SWAT gear. This program also allows for overtime costs specifically related to Homeland Security efforts.
- $557,000 for the Citizen Core Program. The funds provide resources for states and local communities to bring together the appropriate leadership to form and sustain a Citizen Corps Council and develop and implement a plan for the community to engage all citizens in homeland security, community preparedness, and family safety. In addition, the funds should be used to conduct public education to inform citizens about their role in crime prevention, mitigation, emergency preparedness for all hazards, public health measures, including bio-terrorism, and develop and implement Citizen Corps programs offering training and volunteer opportunities to support first responders, disaster relief groups, and community safety efforts.
Oct 23 2003
Bill Contains More than $30 Million for South Carolina Projects
Wes Hickaman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate approved the FY 2004 Transportation and Treasury Appropriations Bill which includes millions of dollars for South Carolina projects. Graham voted for the bill which passed the Senate by a vote of 91-3. South Carolina projects in the bill include: Upstate
- $11 million for site acquisition and design for a new Federal Courthouse in Greenville.
- $3 million to SCDOT for surface improvements to the Arkwright Connector in Spartanburg.
- The bill instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to give priority to the Pickens County Airport rehabilitation project grant application.
- The bill instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to give priority to the Spartanburg Memorial Downtown Airport runway extension and safety area construction project grant application.
The bill instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to give priority to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport land acquisition project grant application. $1.5 million for the Sumter Municipal Airport to install an Instrument Landing System. Lowcountry $5 million to the Medical University of South Carolina Intermodal facility for maintenance, acquisition, and rehabilitation of bus facilities. $1 million to SCDOT for construction of a four lane divided arterial over an approximately 10-mile corridor of U.S. 278. $1 million to SCDOT for the Northwest Bypass in Beaufort. $1 million to SCDOT for improvements to the Berlin G. Meyers Parkway Extension in Georgetown. $1 million to the North Charleston Regional Intermodal Transportation Center for maintenance, acquisition, and rehabilitation of bus facilities. $300,000 to the Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority for maintenance, acquisition, and rehabilitation of bus facilities. $84,478 for the Charleston Airport to replace the elevator and make improvements to the air traffic control tower. The bill instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to give priority to the Andrews Municipal Airport pavement reconstruction project grant application. Statewide $5 million to the SCDOT to help replace South Carolina’s transit fleet. $3 million to SCDOT for the Inroads Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project to place Video Cameras, changeable message signs, and other safety devices along South Carolina’s interstate highways. $2 million to SCDOT for a construction study of I-73. $750,000 to conduct a Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor Study. “Improvements to roads and airports provide greater access to our state, stimulate business investment and encourage tourism,” said Graham. “These projects are another investment in the future economic development in South Carolina.” “During this economic rebound, it is vital that we remain committed to investing in infrastructure, and promoting economic growth,” said Graham. “This is a key ingredient creating and protecting American jobs.”
Oct 22 2003
Wes Hickaman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $265,000 in grants to fire departments in Darlington, Inman, Moncks Corner and Moore. “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. Darlington Palmetto Rural Fire Department will receive $61,515. Inman Inman Mills Fire Department will receive $44,100. Moncks Corner Pimlico Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive $28,332. Moore Poplar Springs Fire Department will receive $131,779. 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. ####
Oct 21 2003
Wes Hickman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on the issue of loans to Iraq today after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 277-139 to instruct conferees to keep the loan provision in the final version of the bill. Graham was one of eight Republicans in the U.S. Senate to support the idea when the body voted on the supplemental appropriation bill last week. He made the following statement: “We all understand Iraqi reconstruction is necessary as soon as possible, but it’s clear to me that both a majority of the House and Senate have serious concerns about a $20 billion grant. “There are two major issues that must be addressed to maintain strong domestic support for the Iraqi operation in terms of borrowed taxpayer dollars that have to be spent. First, it is imperative all debt incurred by Saddam Hussein’s regime be forgiven immediately. It’s unfair to the Iraqi people to have to pay debts occurred by their oppressor. Second, it’s equally unfair to the American taxpayer that our investments in Iraq could generate revenue to pay off Saddam’s debts. “After having been to Iraq, I know the Iraqi people are a strong, proud people. They want and deserve to be stakeholders in their future. It’s in our long-term interests to make them stakeholders. “Iraq is fortunate it sits atop a great resource, a sea of oil. When we make them full owners of this resource -- responsible for its upkeep, maintenance, and operation – there’s no doubt they will treat it with great care and respect. If we don’t make them stakeholders, it’s doubtful they will take the same interest. “President Bush was right to rid Iraq and the world of Saddam Hussein. He is right in wanting to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country. As I stood by him in going to war, I will continue to stand by him in winning the peace.” #####
Oct 21 2003
Legislation to be Signed into Law by President Bush
Wes Hickaman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca) today voted in support of a ban on partial birth abortion. The measure passed Congress by a wide margin and will now be sent to President Bush who has said he will sign the measure into law. “I’m very pleased we are going to finally ban the horrible procedure known as partial birth abortion,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “America may be divided on abortion policy in the early stages of pregnancy, but banning abortion in the last months of pregnancy is overwhelmingly supported.” The legislation prohibits any person from performing a partial birth abortion. The procedure is defined as an abortion where the person partially delivers a living fetus and kills the fetus before completing delivery. It does provide an exception in case the life of the mother is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. Any person performing the procedure would be subject to fines and up to two years in prison. Husbands, or parents of women under 18 years of age, would be able to sue for civil damages. “This is a step in the right direction toward making our society more civilized,” said Graham. “Partial birth abortion is a ghastly procedure. Its abolishment is a long overdue cultural change.” Previous versions of the legislation banning partial-birth abortions were sent to former President Clinton in 1996 and 1997. He vetoed those measures. ######
Oct 21 2003
Wes Hickaman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced housing authorities in South Carolina will receive over $500,000 in grants to hire Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program coordinators. The FSS program encourages communities to develop local strategies to help families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency. Public housing agencies (PHAs) work with welfare agencies, schools, businesses, and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family members the skills and experience to enable them to obtain employment that pays a living wage. The following grants will be awarded in South Carolina: Anderson The Anderson Housing Authority will receive $36,024 Beaufort The Beaufort Housing Authority will receive $25,227 Charleston The Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority will receive $33,590 The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston will receive $45,568 Cheraw The Housing Authority of Cheraw will receive $23,000 Columbia The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority will receive $41,603 The Housing Authority of the City of Columbia will receive $36,755 Florence The Housing Authority of Florence will receive $28,877 The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Marlboro County will receive $23,000 Greenville The Housing Authority of the City of Greenville will receive $31,117 Greenwood The Housing Authority of the City of Greenwood will receive $35,971 Myrtle Beach The Myrtle Beach Housing Authority will receive $77,020 North Charleston The Housing Authority of the City of North Charleston will receive $40,000 Spartanburg The Spartanburg Housing Authority will receive $37,867 "This is an investment in the future of our state at a time when unemployment figures are rising," said Graham. "This program helps provide South Carolinians with the skills and assistance they need to find meaningful employment." The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####
Oct 17 2003
Senate Adopts Graham Backed Amendments on Loans, Timeline for American Troops in Iraq, Support of Israel, and TRICARE for Guard and Reserve Members
Wes Hickman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the $87 billion supplemental appropriation request to pay for ongoing military and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate passed the request 87-12 and will now go to conference with the House of Representatives. “The brave men and women of our armed services are in Iraq and Afghanistan for a noble purpose,” said Graham. “They have liberated an oppressed people and are helping to establish security and freedom in their country. We must be sure to give our troops the tools they need to carry out their mission.” Graham worked to include four important amendments to the Senate legislation.
- Graham, along with U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John Ensign (R-NV), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Evan Bayh (D-IN) , pushed for and won a provision declaring $10 billion in reconstruction funds to be a loan. The loans will be forgiven if 90 percent of Iraq’s prewar debt, estimated to be between $100 billion to $130 billion, is forgiven by countries such as France, Germany and Russia.
- Graham introduced and passed an amendment rejecting arbitrary deadlines, proposed by French President Jacque Chirac, for American withdrawal from Iraq. As recently as September 16, the French government proposed that within two months all authority be turned over to the Iraqi people. The resolution says the U.S. will not turn transfer authority until the ratification of a new Iraqi constitution and democratic elections are held.
- Graham introduced and passed an amendment noting Operation Iraqi Freedom promotes the security of Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East.
- Graham introduced and passed an amendment to improve health care coverage for members of the National Guard and Reserves. The Graham amendment allows unemployed reservists and guardsmen and those that are not eligible for health insurance from their employers to enroll fulltime in TRICARE; provides TRICARE coverage to all guardsmen and reservists once they receive orders to deploy, currently they don’t receive their benefits until they actually deploy; and allows all reservists and guardsmen to stay on TRICARE six months after deployment to ease the transition back to their private insurance.
Oct 13 2003
Chinese Currency Manipulation Causing Job Losses in the Upstate
Wes Hickman/Kevin BishopWASHINGTON – On a tour of Mount Vernon Mills, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said it is past time for tougher safeguards to protect the textile industry from unfair, foreign competition, particularly from China. Graham noted the textile industry has been hard hit by the Chinese intentionally manipulating the value of its currency and those actions are having a direct impact on job losses in Upstate South Carolina. “There’s a perfect storm brewing in China which could destroy what remains of the textile industry in the United States,” said Graham. “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. These are staggering numbers and the net result is we’re losing jobs here at home.” Graham blamed the Chinese for intentionally manipulating the value of their currency creating a competitive disadvantage for American producers. He noted 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 over the past decade, this fixed level most likely does not reflect its true value. If the yuan were allowed to float freely, like other major currencies, many economists believe it would appreciate substantially against the U.S. dollar. 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. The practical effect of this currency manipulation means Chinese manufacturers receive a 15 percent to 40 percent discount on their exports, providing them with a nearly insurmountable advantage over American producers. “I fear that if we do not act quickly to counter China’s illegal efforts to dominate the United States apparel market, our domestic suppliers will not be able to recover,” said Graham. “I believe now is the time to slow this massive surge of Chinese imports. “We have lost thousands of textile jobs in South Carolina, not because the Chinese work harder or smarter, but because they are cheating,” said Graham. “The American textile worker can compete with anyone given a fair opportunity. Unfortunately, that opportunity does not exist in today’s’ economy.” Graham noted several avenues to help the industry. These include:
- Congressional passage of legislation Graham introduced along with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Jim Bunning (R-KY) which imposes a 27.5 percent tariff on all Chinese imports if they do not put an end to currency manipulation. The legislation, S. 1586, allows the President to remove sanctions once he certifies that China has moved to a market-based currency. The tariffs would kick in after a 180 day grace period to ensure that Treasury officials have adequate time to work with the Chinese to institute reforms. Graham noted the U.S. Senate is on record in support of changing the Chinese currency practices. Last month, the body passed Senate Resolution 219 calling on China to abide by its international agreements and adopt a market-based system of currency valuation. The resolution passed Senate late last month without a single dissenting vote.
- Implement the China safeguards. In our trade agreements with China, the Bush Administration has the ability to impose tariffs on Chinese textile imports to level the playing field. These safeguard provisions should be activated. The safeguards 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.