Jan 28 2013


The bipartisan immigration principles represent a real breakthrough on substance and I hope they will be seen as a breakthrough in forming a political coalition to finally solve our immigration problems.


Jan 25 2013

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today released the following statement on President Obama’s decision to name Denis McDonough, a former national security advisor, as his White House Chief of Staff:

 

“President Obama’s decision to choose Denis McDonough was wise and I think he will serve the nation well.  Denis is a steady hand, smart guy, and is well respected on both sides of the aisle.  I have enjoyed working with him on national security matters and look forward to continuing that relationship.”

 

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Jan 25 2013


Saxby Chambliss is one of the Senate's strongest voices on national security, and is incredibly respected both for his intellect and gentlemanly nature.  His decision not to seek reelection is a great loss for the United States Senate.


Jan 16 2013

The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is heartbreaking and beyond words.  However, the gun control plans brought forward by President Obama fail to address the real issues and I'm confident there will be bipartisan opposition to his proposal.

Jan 11 2013

WASHINGTON ­– U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following statement on unanswered questions regarding last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack that President Obama’s national security nominees will need to address in the coming weeks:

 

“As the U.S. Senate considers President Obama’s key national security nominations in the coming weeks, here is a partial list of unanswered questions that still must be addressed regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four brave Americans on September 11, 2012: 
  • Was the President made aware of the classified cable that, according to published media reports, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent on August 15, 2012, stating that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi could not survive a sustained assault from one or more of the threatening militia groups that were operating in eastern Libya?
  • Was the Secretary of State made aware of that cable and its contents?
  • Did the President's national security staff make him aware of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that occurred in April and June of last year and the assassination attempt on the British Ambassador in Benghazi around the same time?
  • If so, what actions did the President and Secretary of State take?
  • When was the President first informed about the attack on September 11, 2012, and what actions did he take?
  • What were the President’s activities during the seven hours the attack went on?
  • What were the Secretary of State's activities during this time?
  • On the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, after multiple attacks this year on U.S. and Western interests in Libya, and with rising insecurity in countries across the Middle East, why were U.S. military units and assets in the region not ready, alert, and positioned to respond in a timely fashion to what should have been a foreseeable emergency?
  • Why were the testimonies of the U.S. personnel who were evacuated from Benghazi on September 12 – eyewitnesses who knew there never was a demonstration outside the Consulate – not shared in a timely way with, and immediately factored in to the judgments of, our intelligence community?
  • Does this failure reflect obstacles that still exist to the free sharing of information across executive branch agencies, which was a key concern of the 9/11 Commission?
  • Why has the Administration refused to provide the full text of emails regarding the deletion of references to Al-Qaeda and terrorism in the talking points on which Ambassador Rice relied several days after the attack?
  • Considering that the President now labels the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism, why has he designated the search for those responsible as a criminal investigation led by the FBI?
  • Has the FBI-led criminal investigation in any way impeded the ability of other government agencies to investigate and assist in identifying those responsible for the attack?
  • Why did the Administration not do more to support and assist the new Libyan government that took power after the fall of Qaddafi as Al-Qaeda, affiliated groups, and local militias established sanctuaries in the ungoverned spaces of eastern Libya – a development that directly implicates U.S. national security interests, and which is the real explanation why four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi?”
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Jan 09 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy (South Carolina-4) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder renewing their request for documents pertaining to the Justice Department’s costly opposition to South Carolina’s Voter ID law.

 

Last Friday, the Washington, D.C. District Court issued a unanimous decision awarding South Carolina certain litigation costs incurred while defending its Voter ID law against a Justice Department challenge.  The case cost the State of South Carolina an estimated $3.5 million.

 

“Not only do we strongly support the Court’s decision to award costs, we request follow up on our previous letter regarding the reasons why this costly litigation occurred in the first place,” wrote Graham and Gowdy.  “If some, or all, of the costs associated with these actions could have been avoided by following the recommendation of career Voting Section experts, then we would like to know the reason why they were overruled.”

 

Full text of the letter is below and attached:

 

January 09, 2013

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder:

Last Friday, the D.C. District Court issued a unanimous decision awarding South Carolina certain litigation costs incurred while successfully defending its Voter ID law (Act R54) against the Department of Justice’s challenge.  In doing so, the Court reaffirmed South Carolina was the prevailing party and obtained preclearance of Act R54, marking a decisive end to the matter.  Not only do we strongly support the Court’s decision to award costs, we request follow up on our previous letter regarding the reasons why this costly litigation occurred in the first place.

On September 24, 2012, we sent you a letter regarding the Department of Justice’s objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to Act R54.  Our letter was prompted by a report that Justice Department political appointees ignored and overruled career Voting Section experts’ recommendations that Act R54 be approved.  In our letter, we requested “all DOJ documents regarding, discussing or otherwise relevant to the Department’s preclearance decision on the South Carolina law, including the memos recommending preclearance and any documents discussing the decision to disregard that recommendation.”

On September 28, 2012, Acting Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Appelbaum responded, declining to disclose any documents regarding internal deliberations, citing “longstanding policy and practice on the confidentiality of ongoing law enforcement matters” and “longstanding practice of not commenting . . . on pending litigation outside that setting.”  While we appreciate your departments’ adherence to confidentiality, now that this is no longer an ongoing matter we respectfully resubmit our request.

To highlight the reason for our continued interest, here are some of the actions the Justice Department and defendant-intervenors used to drive up the costs of the case, totaling nearly $3.5 million: 
  • Requiring South Carolina to produce more than 165,000 pages of documents;
  • Delaying proceedings by 120 days;
  • Litigating every element of the case, from the scheduling of depositions to the scope of document production, and even the font size in one of South Carolina’s briefs;
  • Requiring South Carolina to transcribe the audio recording of Act R54’s legislative history;

Deposing far more individuals than South Carolina (28-19), even deposing three separate witnesses for more than six hours each; and Collectively had three times the attorneys working on the case (36-11).  If some, or all, of the costs associated with these actions could have been avoided by following the recommendation of career Voting Section experts, then we would like to know the reason why they were overruled.

Accordingly, we again request all documents and communications pertaining to the Department’s decision to oppose Act R54 and pursue costly litigation, including any memos recommending preclearance and any documents discussing the decision to disregard that recommendation.  We are confident that our request does not run contrary to your policies and practices.

We look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,

Senator Lindsey O. Graham

Congressman Trey Gowdy ####

Jan 04 2013

Washington – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) today issued the following statement on President Obama signing H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act:

 

“Yesterday, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report, marking the 51st consecutive year of enactment for this vitally important legislation. However, in a signing statement accompanying the law, President Obama repeated his previous arguments challenging the work Congress has done to protect American taxpayers, shape national security policy, and strengthen our nation’s defense.

 

“In his signing statement, the President objects to a provision in the NDAA related to the transfer of terrorist detainees in Afghanistan. As we hand detainees over to the Afghan and third-country governments, it is entirely reasonable to assess the security threat posed by the detainees, the stability of the countries to which they will be transferred, and those countries’ willingness and ability to prosecute and detain, as required by this provision. We do not want to repeat a situation in Afghanistan like the one in Iraq last year in which the Iraqi government released Ali Musa Daqduq, the terrorist responsible for the deaths of at least five U.S. servicemen in Iraq, who has now rejoined Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 

“The President also opposes the provision requiring security certifications by the Secretary of Defense before any transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. The provision is obviously reasonable given that the recidivism rate of detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is nearly 28 percent.

 

“The President also objects to prohibitions on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the U.S., and the construction of facilities to house them in America. Recall that in 2009, the American people objected to bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City for trial. The American people do not want members of terrorist organizations brought to the United States for trial or detention.

 

“The President seems to blame these provisions for his inability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. He has it backwards. These and similar provisions in past defense bills resulted from the Administration’s announcement of an arbitrary deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by January 2010 without providing a comprehensive plan to Congress that ensured our national security and the safety of the American people. That plan, to our knowledge, still does not exist.

 

“The NDAA Conference Report specifically addresses issues left unaddressed by the Administration, including requiring a comprehensive report by Secretary of Defense identifying the limited military activities that could degrade the ability of the Assad regime to use air power against rebels in Syria. The Conference Report also addresses the glaring shortcomings in diplomatic security – tragically brought to light by the loss of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 – by authorizing an increase of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, which will support security at our embassies and consulates at locations identified by the Secretary of State to be at risk of terrorist attack.

 

“We thank our friend and colleague Chairman Levin for his distinguished leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and appreciate the hard work of all Committee members in both Houses of Congress on both sides of the aisle to make this the 51st consecutively enacted Defense Authorization bill. It provides for our troops and their families, and will improve the administration of the Department of Defense. We urge the President to see that its implementation is carried out in accordance with Congressional intent.”

 

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