Jul 02 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded an $800,000 grant to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for abstinence education programs for youth.

The money will be used to develop and implement abstinence education programs for young people ages 12 to 18.

“When adolescents become sexually active, it can have negative effects on their physical and emotional health,” said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “These grants create an environment within communities that supports teens in their decision to remain abstinent until marriage.”

Abstinence education programs are designed as an intervention to reduce the number of adolescents who engage in premarital sexual activity and, consequently, the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The programs also encourage youth to avoid other behaviors associated with early sexual involvement, such as alcohol and drug use.

“South Carolina’s children are our greatest resource,” said Graham. “We must continue to encourage and educate them to make sound decisions affecting their future.” ####

Jun 30 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after Senate Democrats refused to end the partisan filibuster of the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District: “The Senate is entering into one of its darkest chapters with the continuation of partisan filibusters to block well-qualified judicial nominees. Judge Pickering has received the highest rating from the American Bar Association, has support throughout his home state of Mississippi from Republicans and Democrats, and has been a courageous leader in bringing a better racial climate to Mississippi by advocating moderation and tolerance. Judge Pickering is being denied a judicial promotion because of liberal special interests whose intention is to distort the record of a qualified and decent man.” “The partisan filibusters of judges driven by liberal special interest politics will put the Senate in a death spiral with regard to judicial nominations. If our Democratic colleagues do not cease in partisan filibusters of well-qualified nominees there will be a confrontation in the Senate of Constitutional dimensions that will take years to overcome.” Sixty votes are required to break a filibuster. Today 54 Senators voted in favor of ending the filibuster, and 43 were opposed. ####

Jun 30 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $700,000 in grants to fire departments in Bamberg, Blacksburg, Little Mountain, Newberry, Nichols, Pendleton, Reidville, St. Matthews and Union. “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. Bamberg Bamberg Fire Department will receive $129,848. Blacksburg Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department will receive $55,215. Little Mountain Little Mountain Fire Department will receive $53,236. Newberry Friendly Fire Department will receive $24,750. Nichols Nichols Volunteer Fire Department will receive $91,665. Pendleton Sandy Springs Fire Department will receive $80,910. Reidville Reidville Area Fire District will receive $162,000. St. Matthews St. Matthews Fire Department will receive $66,015. Union Bonham Fire Department will receive $64,508. 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. ####

Jun 29 2003

National Guard and Reserve Members Score Health Care Victory

Graham Includes TRICARE Provision in Final Version of Supplemental Appropriation Bill

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), the only Senator serving in either the National Guard or Reserves, today announced improved healthcare benefits for the more than 1.8 million Guard and Reserve members. Graham, who maintains his rank as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, passed his provision in the U.S. Senate with help from Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Ted Stevens (R-AK). The provision, expected to cost $138 million this year, allows Guard and Reservists to enroll in TRICARE, the military health care program. Under current law, members of the Guard and Reserve and their families can only enroll in TRICARE when on active duty. The Graham/Daschle provision:
  • TRI-CARE Buy In: Guard members who are unemployed or whose employers do not offer health insurance would be able to enroll themselves and their families in the military’s TRICARE program on a cost-share basis. A single reservist would pay an annual premium, around 30 percent of the annual cost of providing care, amounting to about $420 annually for single reservists and $1,450 annually for a reservist and his or her family.
  • TRICARE Upon Receiving Orders: All Guard members, Reservists and their families would be eligible to enroll in TRICARE as soon as members receive activation orders, as opposed to when they are actually activated. This change will smooth and expedite the transition to active service.
  • Extension of TRICARE Eligibility after Demobilization: All Guard members, Reservists, and their families would be able to stay in TRICARE for six months after demobilization.
  • Authorization for Additional Medical Screening: The service secretaries are authorized to provide full medical screenings to members of the Guard and Reserves when they receive activation orders.
“I am pleased that the Congress has come together in a bipartisan fashion to improve healthcare for the brave men and women who valiantly serve our country in the Guard and Reserves,” said Graham. “These citizen-soldiers sacrifice to defend our freedom and they deserve to be rewarded. This is an extremely significant step toward repaying their efforts and the first step in what I hope will be an overhaul of the benefit package for our Guardsmen and Reservists. “This provision demonstrates a growing commitment in Congress to provide continuity of care for Guardsmen and Reservists,” said Graham. “Since 9-11 there has been a seven hundred percent increase in the use of the Guard and Reserve. We have not changed the benefits for these essential military personnel and it’s time we reward them for their service and patriotism. “Recent deployments have led to one-fourth of all Guard and Reserve members being called to active duty,” said Graham. “The stress on the Guard and Reserve force is beginning to show. The Army National Guard is almost 15 percent short, some 69,000 soldiers, of its recruiting goal. Hopefully this measure will begin to help correct this problem.” The Iraq supplemental appropriations conference report will be sent back to the House and Senate for final approval and then to the President for his signature. Major General Richard C. Alexander, president of the National Guard Association of the United States praised the provision. He said, “Today, Congress took a major step toward improving the health readiness of the National Guard and Reserves as well as the health care of individual Guardsmen and Reservists. This is the most significant victory the Guard and Reserves have had in Congress since the passage of the Montgomery GI Bill, and we expect that it will have similar positive impact in recruiting and retention. It should also make it easier to mobilize and demobilize.” ####

Jun 29 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Old City Jail in Charleston will receive a $500,000 grant for historic preservation. Save America’s Treasures grants, awarded by the U.S. Department of the Interior, are matching grants to preserve nationally significant threatened intellectual and cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites. A dollar-for-dollar non-Federal match is required. “One of South Carolina’s greatest assets is our rich history,” said Graham. “These funds will help preserve another one of Charleston’s great historic structures.” ####

Jun 27 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution honoring the late U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond. The resolution was introduced by Graham, Senator Hollings (D-South Carolina), and other Senators. The resolution reads as follows: Relative to the death of the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond, former United States Senator and President Pro Tempore Emeritus from the State of South Carolina. Whereas the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond conducted his life in an exemplary manner, an example to all of his fellow citizens; Whereas the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond was a devoted husband, father, and most recently, grandfather; Whereas the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond gave a great measure of his life to public service; Whereas, having abandoned the safety of high position, the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond served his country during World War II, fighting the greatest threat the world had thus far seen; Whereas the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond served South Carolina in the United States Senate with devotion and distinction; Whereas his service on behalf of South Carolina and all Americans earned him the esteem and high regard of his colleagues; and Whereas his death has deprived his State and Nation of a most outstanding Senator: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow and deep regret the announcement of the death of the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond, former Senator and President Pro Tempore Emeritus from the State of South Carolina. Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate communicate these resolutions to the House of Representatives and transmit an enrolled copy thereof to the family of the deceased. Resolved, That when the Senate adjourns today, it stand adjourned as a further mark of respect to the memory of the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond.

Jun 26 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement regarding the passing of Senator Strom Thurmond: “South Carolina has lost its favorite son, Strom Thurmond; a great American patriot, statesman and close friend so many. His life was extraordinary in both length and scope. His enduring legacy for all of us in South Carolina will be that of a public servant who put the common interest ahead of self interest and had a willingness and desire to help everyone to the best of his ability. South Carolinians from all regions and backgrounds truly believe Strom would do his best to deliver a fair result and that he was on their side. No problem was too big or too small, no person was ever denied that best that Strom and his staff could deliver. Senator Thurmond served his country in every conceivable way: as a World War II veteran landing on D-Day under heavy fire, Superintendent of Education, judge, Governor, and the longest serving Senator in the history of the United States. The hallmark of Thurmond’s life was his willingness to serve, the ability to change, and to focus on the needs of individuals. There will never be another like him. From a personal perspective, I was honored to have his support, guidance and friendship. The best tribute I can provide is to continue his legacy of providing user friendly government and providing South Carolinians with passion and commitment. We mourn his loss, pray for his family, and thank God for his service to our state and nation.”

Jun 26 2003

Senate Approves Legislation to Award Rev. De Laine with Congressional Gold Medal

Medal would honor De Laine’s heroic sacrifices to desegregate nation’s public schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, the Senate unanimously approved legislation advanced by U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to posthumously award Reverend Joseph A. De Laine the Congressional Gold Medal for his sacrifices to desegregate the nation’s public schools. Once approved by the House of Representatives, the legislation, S. 498, will go to the President for his signature. “Rev. De Laine’s untold sacrifices to bring equality to American education deserve our highest praise and our national gratitude,” Sen. Hollings said following the Senate’s approval. “His courage and his commitment to justice have left a lasting effect on the fabric of our nation, and the Senate has resoundingly agreed that the Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting tribute for his contributions.” “I was very honored to assist Senator Hollings with legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Reverend De Laine,” said Graham. “Senator Hollings has been a tireless advocate for this legislation which is most deserved. The civil rights struggle to bring about school desegregation and other needed changes required bravery and self-sacrifice from many. Reverend De Laine is a deserving recipient of this award because he literally risked his life and property to advance the cause of equal justice under the law and quality education for all children of South Carolina. His courage and sacrifice during a dark chapter of our state’s and nation’s history has forever improved the quality of life for all future generations.” Rev. De Laine’s crusade to break down barriers in education led to the case of Briggs v. Elliott, South Carolina’s suit that, along with four others, became the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954. Upon the bill’s enactment, the Congressional Gold Medal would be presented to Joseph A. De Laine, Jr., the son of Reverend Joseph A. De Laine, at a future ceremony. Joseph A. De Laine, Jr., was chosen by Congress as one of South Carolina’s two representatives on the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission – a group that will plan the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the 1954 landmark decision. De Laine, Jr. currently resides in Charlotte, N.C. On March 3, Sen. Hollings introduced the legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Graham. Jointly, Hollings and Graham assembled 80 Senate co-sponsors for the legislation, which won unanimous approval from the Senate Banking Committee on June 18. Rep. Jim Clyburn is leading the effort to move the legislation in the House.

Jun 26 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate unanimously passed a bill designating the postal facility located at 1830 South Lake Drive in Lexington the ‘Floyd Spence Post Office Building.’ “Floyd Spence was a tireless advocate for the people of South Carolina, and played a tremendous role in strengthening the nation’s armed forces,” said Graham. “He served the people of Lexington County and the 2nd Congressional District for 40 years in both the South Carolina General Assembly and the United States House of Representatives. This honor is a fitting tribute to his contributions to the safety and security of our nation.” The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, which was introduced by Representative Joe Wilson on behalf of South Carolina’s House delegation, in March of this year.

Jun 26 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded a $200,000 grant to Ware Shoals for sewer and transportation improvements. The funds will be used to upgrade the sewer and transportation infrastructure along a five mile corridor of Highway 25. The improvements will serve existing businesses and sites intended for future development. “This is a great investment in the future of Ware Shoals and Greenwood County,” said Graham. “These improvements will help encourage existing businesses to remain in the area and make the corridor more attractive to new development.”