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 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 (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.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca) today said the Defense Logistics Agency has awarded an $18.64 million contract to SOPAKCO Packaging in Mullins.
The contract requires the company to manufacture 420,000 meals, ready-to-eat (MRE) for America’s servicemen and women.
“SOPAKCO’s work contributes directly to feeding our troops and to helping win the war on terrorism,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “This is a great example of a community doing its part. The renewal of this contract is also great news for the economy of Marion County.”
The contact runs through May 31, 2003.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted to end debate on the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The voted failed by a 55-44 margin. Under Senate rules, it takes 60 votes to end debate on an issue. All 51 Republican Senators along with 4 Democratic Senators – Zell Miller of Georgia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, and John Breaux of Louisiana voted to end the filibuster which has now lasted four weeks.
“Needless to say, I’m disappointed the U.S. Senate has failed to end the partisan filibuster on this very qualified nominee,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Miguel Estrada is being opposed because he is a conservative and the liberal left of the Democratic Party has declared war upon him. Requiring 60 votes to confirm a judge will lead us down a very destructive path.”
“A person with Mr. Estrada’s qualifications and experience seemingly would be a shoe-in for a speedy confirmation,” said Graham. “Unfortunately, partisan Senate Democrats are holding the Estrada nomination hostage and are engaged in a filibuster to prevent the issue from coming to a vote. The tactic is without precedent as the Senate has never blocked – by partisan filibuster – any judicial nominee.”
Born and raised in Honduras, Estrada immigrated to the United States at age 17. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the law review. He’s argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and served in the U.S. Justice Department under both Democrat and Republican presidents.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Estrada would become the first Hispanic ever to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, often considered the second most important federal court behind the Supreme Court.
Graham noted the attacks on Estrada include:
Myth: Estrada lacks the proper qualifications.
Reality: Senate Democrats have admitted he is a brilliant lawyer, but say he lacks experience. This overlooks the fact two Supreme Court justices – Byron White and Chief Justice William Rehnquist – appointed by a Democrat and Republican president, had no experience prior to their serving on the highest court in the land. Also, the American Bar Association, referred to as the “gold standard” by many Senate Democrats, unanimously conferred on Estrada their highest rating of “well qualified.”
Myth: We haven’t had enough time to question the nominee.
Reality: Estrada testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee for five hours. After the hearing was complete and he answered the questions asked of him, only 2 Democratic Senators submitted additional questions. In addition, President Bush nominated Estrada in May 2001 when Democrats controlled the Senate. Had they seen fit, and being in complete control of the Judiciary Committee, they could have held multiple hearings and questioned him for hours on end. They chose not to.
Myth: Estrada is too conservative.
Reality: Part of the filibuster revolves around the fact Senate Democrats have little tolerance for placing a qualified, conservative Hispanic on the bench even though seven former Solicitor Generals who represented the U.S. government before the Supreme Court, 3 Democrats and 4 Republicans, have all recommended his nomination be approved.
Graham also noted Estrada also worked for the Clinton Justice Department, hardly a bastion of conservatism. Seth Waxman, President Clinton’s Solicitor General, called him a “model of professionalism and competence” and said of his beliefs, “In no way did I ever discern that the recommendations Mr. Estrada made or the views he propounded were colored in any way by his personal views – or indeed that they reflected anything other than the long-term interests of the United States.”
“I hope the Senate will eventually end debate and allow a vote on this qualified judicial nominee,” said Graham. “We owe it to Mr. Estrada and to the nation to give this public servant his day in court, or in this case, the U.S. Senate.”
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca) has requested the U.S. Justice Department review whether American citizens traveling to Iraq to act as ‘human shields’ or ‘voluntarily engage in conduct designed to impede military action’ could face trial in American courts for violation of federal law.
In a letter to United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, Graham also requests information on whether the Justice Department has considered “formally notifying Americans engaged in such conduct of the legal risks they are about to assume” and asks whether the department “will be aggressive in prosecuting such individuals and groups.”
“I strongly believe efforts to impede a potential military operation against Iraq should be strongly dealt with and I am seeking your assistance in this matter,” wrote Graham, a member of both the Armed Services and Judiciary committees in the U.S. Senate.
“It is my opinion that any American who voluntarily engages in conduct to impede a potential military operation, and who thereby endangers the lives of our nation’s men and women in uniform, is participating in a program designed to weaken the power of the United States to wage war successfully.”
Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines the act of treason. It reads, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Congress has also passed the Trading with the Enemy Act which restricts economic activities, including those associated with travel. Current restrictions are in place for Cuba, North Korea, Libya, and Iraq.
“It goes without saying that Americans enjoy the right to challenge their government and protest in a variety of lawful ways,” said Graham. “However, our constitution and federal legal structure do not allow Americans to actively aid nations or groups engaged in hostilities with the United States.”
Graham noted American John Walker Lindh was recently convicted and sentenced to prison for his relation with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and Taliban.
“I, along with many other Members of Congress, strongly believe the full force of the law should be applied to those American citizens who give aid and comfort to our enemies,” concluded Graham.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive a $500,000 grant to increase services for workers with disabilities and help others return to work without risking the loss of their health benefits.
The funds are part of a $2.5 million package the Department of Health and Human Services awarded to five states, including Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
The funds can be used to build programs that allow people with disabilities to purchase affordable health coverage through Medicaid, support programs that provide personal assistance in the home or office, train workers, improve transportation for people with disabilities, or aid other programs that facilitate integrating people with disabilities into the workforce.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that every South Carolinian who wants to work has the opportunity to do so, and is not penalized for contributing to the economy,” Graham said. “I think this demonstrates a commitment from the Bush Administration and the Congress to assist every American and ensure people are given every opportunity to succeed.”
The grants support President Bush's New Freedom Initiative to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities. It also helps advance the goals of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 to ensure people with disabilities can retain their Medicare, Medicaid or similar health benefits if they return to work.