Jul 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Medical University of South Carolina has been awarded a $1.03 million grant for cancer treatment research. “Even though we’ve made many medical advances in the past decade, there’s still more we can do,” said Graham. “I am proud of the cutting edge research being done at MUSC and South Carolina’s other universities. The work they are doing helps save lives.” The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

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.” #####

Jul 22 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded over $344,000 to South Carolina cities and counties to aid in the purchase of bullet proof vests for law enforcement officers. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grants provide funding priority to jurisdictions with a population under 100,000. The funds will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of bulletproof vests. Jurisdictions with populations of 100,000 or more are eligible to receive funding with money remaining in the grant fund. The following 75 jurisdictions in South Carolina will receive BVP funds in 2003: Jurisdiction 2003 BVP Funding Number of Vests Towns & Cities Abbeville $2,722 8 Aiken $908 4 Aynor $255 2 Barnwell $1,189 5 Batesburg-Leesville $1,183 5 Beaufort $2,248 10 Bennettsville $1,808 8 Bishopville $2,143 10 Blackville $2,483 10 Bowman $2,325 4 Burnettown $1,187 5 Camden $1,778 8 Cayce $2,517 12 Central $540 2 Charleston $10,789 50 Cheraw $7,213 25 Chesterfield $4,936 5 Clemson $973 5 Clinton $4,035 19 Clover $713 3 Conway $1,121 5 Darlington $2,127 9 Duncan $811 4 Edgefield $1,824 9 Elgin $532 3 Florence $454 2 Folly Beach $727 3 Georgetown $3,661 18 Goose Creek $3,565.62 15 Greenville $45,284 185 Greer $5,033 25 Hanahan $2,557 12 Harleyville $1,852 5 Hartsville $9,546 39 Irmo $1,295 6 Lancaster $4,843 20 Landrum $507 3 Lexington $848 5 Loris $1,321 6 Manning $4,066 13 Mauldin $3,855 18 McCormick $553 2 Mount Pleasant $14,348 60 Myrtle Beach $12,978 60 Newberry $767 5 North Charleston $16,318 60 Orangeburg $1,729 9 Ridgeland $7,299 18 Salem $219 1 Scranton $224 1 Seneca $2,827 12 Simpsonville $1,114 5 Spartanburg $8,466 39 Sullivan’s Island $665 2 Summerville $2,849 10 Sumter $4,936 30 Surf Side $1,103 5 Travelers Rest $1,609 7 Walterboro $2,592 6 Wellford $1,866 8 West Columbia $1,881 10 Williston $2,980 12 Counties Barnwell County $10,186 43 Calhoun County $2,511 12 Cherokee County $3,822 17 Chester County $16,441 50 Chesterfield County $9,010 42 Colleton County $37,584 87 Georgetown County $2,174 10 Greenwood County $2,570 10 Jasper County $7,128 30 Lancaster County $2,484 10 Newberry County $9,712 67 Oconee County $2,571 12 Orangeburg County $3,438 15 “Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect South Carolinas,” said Graham. “They deserve the best equipment money can buy.” ####

Jul 22 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded 12 aviation grants for over $11 million to various government and transportation entities throughout the state. The following grants have been awarded:
  • $4,362,554 to the Richland/Lexington Airport Commission to extend the runway, rehabilitate the apron and make security enhancements at Columbia Metropolitan Airport;
  • $1,922,102 to the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission to improve the access road, acquire aircraft rescue and fire fighting safety equipment, install weather reporting equipment, and rehabilitate the apron at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport;
  • $1,805,209 to Beaufort County to construct a control tower, rehabilitate the runway, and install weather reporting equipment at the Hilton Head Airport;
  • $1,354,800 to Barnwell County to rehabilitate the runway at the Barnwell County Airport;
  • $414,000 to Richland County to constrict a taxiway and improve the access road at the Columbia Owens Downtown Airport;
  • $303,526 to the City of Spartanburg to extend the runway and improve the runway safety area at the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport;
  • $300,000 to Union County to extend the runway at Union County, Troy Shelton Field;
  • $172,620 to Darlington County to extend the runway and expand the apron at the Darlington County Jetport;
  • $150,000 to Clarendon County to construct a taxiway and study the need for a runway extension at the Santee Cooper Regional Airport;
  • $150,000 to the State of South Carolina, Division of Aeronautics to include Geographical Information System data into the existing database, prepare a statewide economic impact study, and inspect public use airports throughout the state;
  • $150,000 to Rock Hill for land acquisition at the Rock Hill/York County/Bryant Field Airport;
  • $68,400 to Saluda County to conduct an airport master plan study at the Saluda County Airport.
“This is great news for South Carolina,” said Graham. “Airport improvements help improve passenger safety and increase the state’s ability to accommodate travel. This not only encourages tourism, but also makes South Carolina more attractive for business investment and economic development.” ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) hosted a meeting earlier this week in Washington with Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and textile leaders from the Carolinas to discuss protecting domestic textile and other manufacturers from trade abuses committed by China. Present at the meeting were Graham, Evans, International Trade Undersecretary Grant Aldonas, Smyth McKissick, President and Treasurer of Alice Manufacturing Company, and Allan Gant, CEO of Glen Raven Mills. Several issues were raised with Secretary Evans including the implementation of the China safeguard for textiles. 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% and is up an additional 114% so far in 2003, according to recent numbers from the American Textiles Manufacturing 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 strong 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.” The group also discussed the 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. Earlier today, 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 yen has been tightly pegged to the US dollar in a range of 8.3 yen 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 yen 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 18 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has delivered promised funds to From Darkness to Light in Charleston. Graham previously announced the $198,700 received by the program when the FY2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was signed into law in February. The funds will be used for an adult awareness campaign about child sexual abuse. The primary focus of the project is a hard-hitting media campaign designed to attract attention to the scope and consequences of child abuse. This is coupled with a ‘hotline’ for more information and for referrals to resources that can provide help to child victims and adult survivors of abuse. “I am proud to see our state using cutting edge techniques to eliminate the terrible crime of child sexual abuse,” said Graham. ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $1 million grant to FN Manufacturing in Columbia for continued developed of a Secure Weapons System. The funds will be used to continue the firm’s research and development of technology that will allow firearms to ‘recognize’ the owner. The effect of this ‘recognition’ technology would be to increase firearm safety for commercial and law enforcement use. “It’s gratifying to know that South Carolina is on the cutting edge in developing safety features for firearms,” said Graham. ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $288,000 grant to Commun-i-care, Inc. of Columbia to support their mission of providing free health care and prescription drugs to low income South Carolinians. In 1993, Commun-i-care was created to provide pro bono physician visits and donated prescriptions to adults who do not receive Medicaid, qualify for Veterans Health Benefits and cannot afford health insurance. Commun-i-care partners with doctors, the South Carolina Free Clinic Association, eight pharmaceutical companies, and Quest Diagnostics. “This is a great investment in the health and well being of South Carolinians,” said Graham. “Commun-i-care is an example of citizens and businesses pulling together for the good of the community.” ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded $225,000 grants to North Charleston and Spartanburg to support the Weed and Seed programs in each city. Weed and Seed is a strategy which aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in ‘weeding out’ criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and ‘seeding’ brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. North Charleston: This is the third award for North Charleston program which serves four neighborhoods in the city. During this project period, program goals include participating in Operation Cease Fire with the U.S. Attorney’s Office; facilitating interaction and cooperation between the police and residents; focusing on youth education and family development efforts to assist children at a high risk for neglect, focusing on beautification efforts and the removal of blight from the area. Spartanburg: This is the second award for the Spartanburg program which serves the Arkwright and Forest Park areas of the city. During this project period, program goals include addressing youth gang activities and eliminating crime associated with gang organizations; coordinating neighborhood watch meetings; increasing parental involvement, improving educational performance, and bringing affordable health and human services to the area; and encouraging resident involvement in improving economic viability and preserving the residential housing stock of the neighborhood. “We need to ensure all our neighborhoods are safe from crime and drug abuse,” said Graham. “The programs funded through these grants take a unique approach to achieving that goal.” ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has awarded a $166,000 grant to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to support improvements in juvenile justice programs. The funds, awarded through the State Challenge Activities Grant Program, provide incentive for states to develop, adopt, and improve programs in one or more of ten specified Challenge areas. The ten Challenge Activities are: Basic System Services, Access to Counsel, Community-Based Alternatives, Violent Juvenile Offender Facilities, Gender Specific Policies and Programs, State Ombudsman, Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, Alternatives to School Suspension or Expulsion, Aftercare Services, and State Agency Coordination/Case Review System. “This grant will help ensure the juvenile justice programs in South Carolina are serving the needs of the state,” said Graham. ####