WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he was pleased with Senate passage of legislation to provide American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan with up to $40 of free telephone calling time each month.
The legislation was introduced by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and sponsored by Graham, Senator George Allen (R-Virginia), Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), and Senator Zell Miller (D-GA). This bill is part of a package of bills introduced by Graham and colleagues to improve benefits and the quality of life for U.S. military personnel.
“It is important to provide the men and women who are risking their lives every day with the ability to contact their loved ones,” said Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee. “They are serving a noble cause overseas, protecting the American way of life and advancing the cause of freedom in Iraq. For their sacrifice, they deserve the comfort and support of talking to their family and friends.”
In addition to providing free phone time, this bill calls on the Secretary of Defense to work with telecommunications providers to supply additional phones for the troops on the front lines.
Funding for the telephone calling program comes from the Secretary of Defense’s existing telecommunications programs and capabilities, private support organizations, private entities offering free and reduced-cost services, and programs to enhance morale and welfare.
The program will terminate sixty days after the Secretary of Defense determines Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended.
WASHINGTON -- They may be thousands of miles away from the front lines in the war on terrorism, but a Mullins company will play a big role in the war and subsequent rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced SOPAKCO Packaging of Mullins has been awarded a $44.9 million contract from the Department of Defense.
The contract requires the company to manufacture meals ready-to-eat (MRE) for America’s servicemen and women. In addition the company will now supply humanitarian daily rations (HDR) to the liberated citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries have been plagued by oppressive governments and food shortages.
The contract runs through December 31, 2003.
“SOPAKCO is feeding our troops who are winning the war on terrorism and now they’re going to help feed the starving women and children of Iraq,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “As President Bush has said, the day of liberation for the people of Iraq is near. The tyrant is almost gone.
“South Carolina has played an important role in the war on terrorism,” said Graham. “We’re a very patriotic group and this is another example of our state and a local community doing their part.”
This is the second time this year SOPAKCO has been called on to support the war effort. Last month, the Defense Logistics Agency awarded the company an $18 million contract extension to provide 420,000 MREs. That contract will expire May 30, 2003.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Hunley will receive $700,000 in funding from the Department of Defense’s Legacy Resource Management program.
Working closely with the Department of Defense, U.S. Representative Henry Brown (R-South Carolina), and the Friends of the Hunley Commission, Graham was able to secure this funding.
Graham and his staff remained in daily contact with Defense Department officials to ensure success in obtaining the money.
“I am proud to have been a part of protecting this piece of American history. The Hunley is a historically unique artifact that is an object of interest to the people of South Carolina and the nation,” said Graham. “I’m pleased I was able to secure funding for this worthwhile project.”
The funds will go toward continued archeological management and conservation of the Hunley.
The purpose of the Legacy program is to "promote, manage, research, conserve, and restore the priceless biological, geophysical, and historical resources which exist on public lands, facilities, or property held by the Department of Defense."
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced health care centers in Sumter and Hartsville will receive grants from President Bush’s Health Centers Initiative administered by the U.S. Department Health and Human Services.
Sumter Family Health Center will receive $595,833 and CareSouth Carolina in Hartsville will receive $108,333. The funds will enable both facilities to assist more individuals.
“Community health centers are a vital part of South Carolina’s medical infrastructure,” Graham said. “Health centers are an efficient means of helping those who lack or have inadequate health care insurance. They provide medical services to thousands of people who would otherwise end up in a hospital emergency room.”
President Bush’s Health Centers Initiative will add new health centers throughout the nation and expand coverage of those currently in existence. Health centers provide preventative and primary care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Charges for health care services are set according to income and for some low-income patients fees are waived.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the state $20.3 million to enhance preparations for a bio-terror attack.
The funds come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). CDC will provide the state $13.2 million to improve public health system preparedness. The remaining $7.1 million from HRSA is to be used to bolster hospital preparedness.
The funds, part of a $1.4 billion package to states, can also be used to vaccinate health workers and emergency personnel for smallpox.
“During these difficult times, it’s critical our state be prepared to deal with a bio-terror attack,” said Graham. “Terrorists groups have shown an interest in obtaining biological weapons and no one doubts their willingness to use them. It’s important our medical personnel have the proper response plan and training to deal with this real threat.”
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham announced today the inclusion of an additional $8 million in funding in the 2004 Defense Authorization Act for the Consolidated Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in Charleston, South Carolina.
The additional $8 million, secured by Graham in an amendment offered on the floor of the Senate earlier today, brings total authorized funding for CIPC to $244 million.
The objective of the center is to implement a virtual network of engineering services linking various government and private sector engineering service training centers and universities including the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, Clemson, and the College of Charleston. The network will allow the entire community to share test facilities, simulations, data bases, and other resources.
“I’m pleased the Senate saw fit to include the additional funding for this important program,” said Graham. “The CIPC program at SPAWAR will benefit our military and research universities. SPAWAR has assets that no other facility in the world has, assets that must be protected and expanded”
The Senate is expected to approve the defense authorization legislation later today.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased with adoption of a port security amendment to the Senate budget resolution.
South Carolina Senators Graham and Fritz Hollings worked on the amendment which provides $1 billion in funding in each of the next two years for port security. It was agreed to by unanimous consent.
Graham made the following statement:
“Our ports are a vital component of the state’s economy and it’s important we ensure they are adequately protected. The amendment that was passed allows us to provide additional funding in a fiscally responsible manner. There’s no doubt that it’s time for Congress and the president to address the growing security needs at our nations’ ports.
“I’m also pleased the funding we were able to include does not reduce the tax cut President Bush has requested and the Senate is working to approve. Stimulating our economy by returning money to taxpayers is a very high priority on my agenda.
“I’m proud of the fact Senator Hollings and I were able to include language in the budget resolution to provide more funding for port security. Senator Hollings has been at the forefront of this issue for many years and I was glad to work with him to ensure our ports were protected.”
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on hostilities between the United States and the regime of Saddam Hussein.
"Now that hostilities have begun, it is time for the nation to come together and support our men and women in uniform. Any disagreements Americans may have had in the past should give way to our shared commitment to see this effort through. Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers, sailors and Marines in the field.
"I fully understand why President Bush had to resort to the use of force to disarm Saddam Hussein. It has been readily apparent for many months that Saddam would not voluntarily part with his weapons of mass destruction.
"It’s long past time for Saddam Hussein to be replaced. President Bush used the only reasonable option available to him and our nation."
WASHINGTON -- United States Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today he will introduce an amendment to the budget resolution tomorrow, highlighting the problems with the current state of Social Security and the immediate need to find a permanent solution.
The Sense of the Senate amendment is a statement of facts about the financial condition of the Social Security system and an agreement that we must work to make Social Security solvent and permanently sustainable at the earliest opportunity.
“Strengthening and protecting Social Security is one of the most important domestic issues facing America today,” Graham said. “It affects the wellbeing of retirees, workers, and future generations. When it comes to Social Security, to do nothing is political malpractice.”
Graham will introduce his amendment on the same day he is scheduled to address a National Center for Policy Analysis briefing on the 2003 Social Security Trustees’ Report.
The 2003 Trustees’ Report was released today. It states that while the short term condition of Social Security has improved slightly, the long term deficits continue to deteriorate rapidly:
In 2018, Social Security will begin to pay out more in benefits that it collects in taxes.
By 2042, the system will be insolvent and tax revenues will only finance 73% of benefits.
Over the next 75 years we have promised to pay $25.3 trillion (in 2003 dollars) more in benefits than we will collect in taxes.
Also speaking at the briefing will be Dr. Thomas R. Saving, Social Security and Medicare Trustee, and James B. Lockhart III, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca) today voted in support of a ban on partial birth abortion. The measure passed by a 64-33 margin.
“I’m very pleased the Senate was able to pass legislation to ban the horrible procedure know 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. They could also be held liable for civil damages. The mother of the aborted fetus is exempted from prosecution.
“Today’s action is a step in the right direction toward making our society more civilized,” said Graham. “I’m confident if the House of Representatives’ approves the legislation, President Bush will sign it into law.”
In previous years, the partial birth abortion ban passed the House and Senate only to be vetoed by President Bill Clinton.