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 announced Health Endowment Properties, Inc. in Greenville will receive a $169,956 grant to support housing developments for the elderly and persons with disabilities. “This program will help empower elderly and disabled persons in Greenville County,” said Graham. “It is important that we continue to provide the necessary resources to enable those in need of assistance to remain independent and active participants in the community.” The funds will be used to pay the salary, benefits, and administrative expenses associated with employing a Service Coordinator. A Service Coordinator helps link elderly residents and persons with disabilities to the community based supportive services they need to continue living independently in their homes. ####

Nov 25 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $725,000 in grants to fire departments in Chesterfield, Cope, Dillon, McCormick, Salley, Society Hill and Summerton. “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 assist in purchasing firefighting vehicles. Chesterfield Teal’s Mill Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive $55,137. Cope Edisto Volunteer Fire Department will receive $144,000. Dillon Reedy Creek Volunteer Fire Department will receive $135,000. McCormick Sandy Branch Volunteer Fire Department will receive $76,500. Salley Salley Volunteer Fire Department will receive $130,500. Society Hill Harris Creek Volunteer Fire Department will receive $144,000. Summerton Summerton Fire Department will receive $40,500. 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. ####

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.” ####

Nov 21 2003

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has written peer-to-peer network company executives calling on them to adhere to copyright laws and cease the distribution of pornography, especially child pornography, over their networks. The letter, circulated by Graham was also signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Barbara Boxer (D-California), and sent to executives of Grokster, Bearshare, Blubster, eDonkey2000, LimeWire, and Streamcast Networks. “Purveyors of peer-to-peer technology have legal and moral obligation to conform to copyright laws, and end the pornographic trade over these networks,” said Graham. “These programs expose our children to sexually explicit materials and provide an anonymous venue for child pornographers to hide behind the vale of technology.” The letter states, “recent studies by the General Accounting Office and Palisades Systems, a respected technology company, clearly demonstrate that your software currently is being used almost exclusively as a means of illegally trading copyrighted material and distributing pornography, including child pornography. For example, the Palisades report concluded that 97 percent of all the material available on file-sharing services was either copyrighted or pornography; 99 percent of audio files requested on file-sharing services were copyrighted; and 42 percent of all requests on file-sharing services were for adult or child pornography.” The six Senators suggest three specific courses of action to end illegal distribution of materials and protect children from exposure to graphic content:
  1. Provide a Clear, Conspicuous, and Meaningful Notice & Warning to Users about the Legal Risks of Using P2P Software
  2. Incorporate Effective Copyright and Pornography Filters
  3. Change the “Sharing” Default Setting- P2P software is designed so that every copyrighted file users download is automatically distributed to everyone else on the network. So the only way to avoid being a forced distributor, and thereby avoid being subject to a copyright infringement lawsuit for “sharing”, is to change the default settings that come with the software.
“We strongly believe that voluntarily taking these three common-sense steps would go a long way toward educating and protecting consumers,” wrote the group. “It also would clearly indicate your company’s desire to become responsible corporate citizens.” ####

Nov 20 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced $9.8 million in federal funding for non-profit organizations to develop and operate supportive housing for the elderly in North Augusta, Sumter and North. The Supportive Housing for the Elderly Funding program provides capital advance financing and rental assistance to non-profit organizations. “Senior citizens have given so much to the development and defense of our country,” said Graham. “They truly are America’s greatest generation, and we have a responsibility to see that they are cared for and treated with dignity and respect.” North Augusta $3.5 million has been approved for Georgia Rehabilitation Institute to construct 40 one-bedroom units for the very low-income elderly in North Augusta. The project will be designed to be handicap accessible, and two percent of the rooms will be designed for visual or hearing impairments. Sumter $4.6 million has been approved for the John H. Wellons Foundation to construct 53 one-bedroom units for the very low-income elderly in Sumter. The project will be designed for accessibility to all for “aging in place” and some units will be fully handicap equipped. North $1.7 million has been approved for the Orangeburg County Council on Aging to construct 20 one-bedroom units for the very low-income elderly in North. Two units will be fully accessible according to the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, and one unit will be designed to meet the needs of the visually or hearing impaired. The project funding is made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Nov 20 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Calhoun County Metal Health Association will receive a $342,500 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities grant. The grant program provides capital advance financing and rental assistance to non-profit organizations. The funds are to be used for the development and operation of supportive housing to enable persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community. “This program will help empower disabled persons in Calhoun County,” said Graham. “It is important that we continue to provide the necessary resources to enable those in need of assistance to become active participants in the community.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ####

Nov 19 2003

Congress Passes Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

Includes Millions for South Carolina Projects and Fully Funds SRS

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the 2004 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation which contained millions of dollars in projects for South Carolina and the Savannah River Site (SRS). “These projects funded in this bill will make the state more attractive for future economic development, business investment, and tourism,” said Graham. “The bill does a lot to help ensure our state’s waterways are navigable and safe for recreational boaters and business. In South Carolina, we are fortunate to have such a wonderful natural environment and this bill takes great steps toward protecting our state’s legacy for today and future generations. “I am proud of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for passing this bill in a bipartisan manner,” said Graham. “This demonstrates the ability of the Republican leadership to reach out to our Democratic friends and accomplish business that is good for the American people. “At Savannah River Site we’re working to keep the peace,” said Graham. “SRS is playing a leading role in the effort to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into fuel. They’re also accelerating cleanup of the Site’s Cold War legacy.” Graham noted the bill also amends the Water Resources Development Act of 1992 by adding an additional $20 million for wastewater treatment and water supply projects associated with Lakes Marion and Moultrie and adding $5 million dollars for wastewater infrastructure in Charleston. The bill will now go to President Bush for his signature. South Carolina Related Projects
  • $23.5 million for a nationwide university reactor fuel program. The bill encourages the U.S. Department of Energy to support the new program at the University of South Carolina, and congratulates the state for creating one of the first new graduate programs in nuclear engineering in the last 20 years.
  • $16.42 million for the Russell Dam and Lake for construction, operations and maintenance (SC & GA);
  • $13.96 million for Lake Hartwell operations and maintenance (SC & GA);
  • $11.747 million for J. Strom Thurmond Lake for operation and maintenance (SC & GA);
  • $10 million for Charleston Harbor operations and maintenance;
  • $5.5 million for the Thurmond Lake Powerhouse for major rehabilitation (SC & GA);
  • $5 million for the deepening and widening of Charleston Harbor;
  • $4.35 million for Lake Russell wildlife mitigation payments to South Carolina and Georgia;
  • $3.38 million to the Cooper River for operations and maintenance;
  • $2.719 million to Georgetown Harbor for the dredging of Sampit River and Upper Winyah Bay, and for operations and maintenance;
  • $2.2 million to the University of South Carolina for expanding clean energy research and education programs;
  • $1.432 million to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway for operations and maintenance;
  • $1 million for the Coastal Research Center at MUSC;
  • $500,000 for the Claflin University Science Center;
  • $500,000 for planning the expansion of Savannah Harbor (SC & GA);
  • $400,000 to Folly River for operations and maintenance in 7 miles of channel;
  • $430,000 to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway for general investigations of river dredging;
  • $419,000 to Town Creek for operations and maintenance;
  • $350,000 to Lakes Marion and Moultrie for general stewardship;
  • $300,000 for the Aquatic Plant Control Program, a statewide management of nuisance aquatic plant problems in public waters;
  • $250,000 for the University of South Carolina to study groundwater contamination;
  • $229,000 for the Corps of Engineers to conduct project condition surveys throughout the state;
  • $200,000 to the Savannah River Basin for general investigation;
  • $200,000 to Folly Beach for general construction;
  • $200,000 for Corps of Engineer planning activities in Georgetown and Williamsburg counties;
  • $170,000 to the Reedy River for general investigation;
  • $100,000 to Pawleys Island for pre-construction engineering and design;
  • $100,000 to the Broad River Basin for general investigation;
  • $100,000 to Edisto Island for an erosion study;
  • $100,000 for Savannah Harbor sediment control (SC & GA);
  • $75,000 for the Santee Delta Environmental Restoration;
  • $50,000 to the Waccamaw River for general investigation;
  • $45,000 to Murrells Inlet for operations and maintenance;
  • $26,000 for the Corp of Engineers to inspect completed projects.
Savannah River Site The bill fully funds the daily operation of SRS, including specific money for the following projects:
  • $402 million for the MOX fuel fabrication facility;
  • $75 million for the construction of the tritium extraction facility;
  • $20.259 million for a second glass storage building;
  • $13.6 million for the construction of the pit disassembly and conversion facility;
  • $2.75 million for cleaning and loading modifications. This procurement is for long lead procurement of engineered equipment for the Tritium Facilities at SRS;
  • $1.134 million for container surveillance.
In addition, the bill provides $10.81 million for the Modern Pit Facility (MPF). SRS is one of several potential sites for locating the MPF. Site selection is expected by early next year. #####

Nov 19 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $370,000 in grants to fire departments in Fountain Inn, Greenville, Latta and Pacolet. “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. Fountain Inn Greenpond Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit will receive $41,535. Greenville Gantt Fire Department will receive $45,434. Latta Dillon County Fire Department- Area 2 will receive $227,156 for the purchase of a new firefighting vehicle. Pacolet Pacolet Station Fire District will receive $65,488. 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. ####