May 06 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this week introduced legislation to benefit members of the National Guard and Reserves. Senator Graham’s National Guard and Reserves Reform Act for the 21st Century is a comprehensive reform bill to modernize benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves. It addresses healthcare, retirement, and pay disparity between active duty and civilian income. “This reform package provides better health coverage, a fair retirement system, and the opportunity for improved compensation,” said Graham. “It will ensure that Guard and Reserve personnel and their families are justly compensated for their service.” “The increased demands placed on the men and women who serve this country in a part-time capacity require a modernization of their benefits,” said Graham. “We must be sure to take care of every person that puts their life on the line to fight for liberty and freedom throughout the world.” The health insurance reform provisions allow Guard and Reserve members the option of enrolling fulltime in TRICARE, the family health insurance coverage offered to active-duty military personnel. The change would offer health care stability to families who lose coverage under employers’ plans when a family member is called to active duty. It also provides relief to self-employed personnel who often pay large sums for health care coverage or have none at all. Members of the Guard and Reserve will have a co-payment because of their part-time status. Currently, Guard and Reservists are only eligible for TRICARE coverage when they are called to active duty. This legislation also adjusts the retirement structure of the Guard and Reserves to more accurately reflect the needs of the troops. For every two years a member serves after twenty years of honorable service, that individual’s eligible retirement age will be reduced by one year. Under current law, the retirement age is 60. Under the Graham plan, if an individual serves for 22 years, they are eligible for retirement at 59. An individual entering military service at 18 and serving for 36 years could retire at 52. The reform package also provides tax breaks for employers that make up the difference in civilian pay and reserve pay while members are on active duty. Employers can receive up to $25,000 per person in tax breaks for relieving this disparity. “The National Guard and Reserves have been called upon more often to help protect this country and defend American interests,” said Graham. “They are playing a vital role in Operation Iraqi Freedom and are an integral part of the war on terrorism.”

May 05 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Voorhees College in Denmark has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to organize a retraining skills partnership program for displaced workers at Savannah River Site (SRS). Voorhees will partner with SRS and Denmark Technical College in the effort. “Programs like these help workers get back on their feet and find new employment opportunities,” said Graham. “I’m glad Voorhees is partnering with the Department of Energy and SRS in helping these workers.” Voorhees College is a private, four-year educational institution with more than 700 students.

May 01 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on President Bush’s address to the nation. “Tonight was an opportunity to reflect upon the great job done by our men and women in uniform. It was also a time to rededicate ourselves to the job that lies ahead. I’m proud of the president and his leadership. I’m also tremendously grateful to the men and women in uniform who protected my freedom and of those of other Americans. “The war in Iraq is part of the overall war on terrorism. There is still much more to be done, more sacrifices to be made, and more money to be spent. Unfortunately, we may lose additional lives before we attain complete victory. “I applaud the President and the men and women in uniform who stood up to the oppression that existed in Iraq and disarmed a dictator. Tonight, we have much to be thankful for.”

May 01 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on President Bush’s address to the nation. “Tonight was an opportunity to reflect upon the great job done by our men and women in uniform. It was also a time to rededicate ourselves to the job that lies ahead. I’m proud of the president and his leadership. I’m also tremendously grateful to the men and women in uniform who protected my freedom and of those of other Americans. “The war in Iraq is part of the overall war on terrorism. There is still much more to be done, more sacrifices to be made, and more money to be spent. Unfortunately, we may lose additional lives before we attain complete victory. “I applaud the President and the men and women in uniform who stood up to the oppression that existed in Iraq and disarmed a dictator. Tonight, we have much to be thankful for.”

Apr 24 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the Silver Springs Rural Water District has been awarded a $662,000 grant and a $220,700 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. The funds will be used to replace an existing well that has become contaminated. Additionally, the project will provide a new elevated storage tank and an emergency connection to the Town of Salley. This is the second project awarded to the Silver Springs Rural Water District in the past week. On Tuesday, Graham announced nearly $1 million in federal money to construct new water lines and provide emergency connections to surrounding towns. “The area has great potential for additional economic growth,” said Graham. “The infrastructure investments made by USDA will go a long way toward helping it happen.”

Apr 24 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in North Charleston has awarded a $5.1 million contract for the construction of a military police and emergency facility at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. The multi-story, 26,178 square foot facility will house the base police, fire department, and emergency services functions. “This investment will ensure the men and women at Parris Island have some of the finest facilities and resources at their disposal to carry out the mission of the base,” said Graham. Construction is to be completed by September 2004.

Apr 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center (SSC) Charleston has awarded a $5,373,087 contract to Computer Sciences Corp. for engineering support on improvement projects. The contract calls for Computer Sciences to assist SSC in enhancing their engineering, technical, and business processes. “Military facilities in South Carolina are the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed forces,” Graham said. “The men and women stationed in our state fulfill the vital missions of the world’s finest fighting force. We supply the front line troops, and state-of-the-art weapons and support systems needed to win the war on terrorism.” All work will be conducted in Charleston, and is expected to be completed by April 2004. The contract also contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $28 million.

Apr 23 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced a Greenwood, Hemogenix, company will receive a $502,065 grant from the National Cancer Institute to support ongoing cancer research. The project supported by this grant money focuses on cancer treatment. “This is exciting news for South Carolina,” said Graham. “I’m proud that our state is conducting cutting edge research to eliminate this dreadful disease.”

Apr 22 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced today the Silver Springs Rural Water District will receive $427,900 in grants and an additional $528,100 in loans from United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. The money will be used to construct water lines to households without potable water. In addition, the project will provide an emergency water connection to the town of Salley and eventually to the town of North. “This is a great investment in improving the infrastructure in Orangeburg County,” Graham said. “It will improve the quality of life for people by providing a reliable source of clean drinking water, and increase the attractiveness of the area for future developm

Apr 17 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Lockheed Martin in Greer will receive approximately $2 million to upgrade several Navy P-3C aircraft. The P-3C Orion is used by the Navy for anti-submarine warfare patrol and surveillance over both sea and land. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Orion has been used to provide instant battlefield intelligence to troops on the ground. The award is part of a $9.1 million increase awarded to Lockheed Martin on an existing contract with the Naval Air Systems Command. “Once again, South Carolina is demonstrating that we are on the forefront of military technology,” said Graham. “The men and women of our state are playing a vital role in the war on terrorism.” The work is expected to be completed by September 2004.