Legislative Update from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

From Senator Lindsey Graham

I wanted to bring you up-to-date with some of the important issues facing our state and nation in the weeks to come.  

Gas Prices

I continue to hear from many of you who are concerned about the rising price of gas.  Rising gas prices once again bring into focus our nation’s need to become energy independent.  Last year we spent more than $400 billion on foreign oil, and now find ourselves more dependent on overseas supplies than at any other time in our nation’s history. 

Last week I was proud to vote for The Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011 introduced by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).  This bill would have pushed forward with previously scheduled offshore oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and Virginia.  The leases were suspended by the Obama Administration in 2010 in light of the Gulf oil spill. 

National Taxpayers Union presents Graham with their 2010 Taxpayers Friend Award. Graham’s score of 97 percent is the highest of any member of the South Carolina delegation.

To further address our dependence on oil from the Middle East, this week I introduced The Oil Sands Energy Security Act of 2011.  This legislation would increase our government’s ability to use oil produced from the Canadian oil sands. 

It should be our national goal to once and for all break our addiction and unhealthy dependence on Middle Eastern oil.  But that will not happen if we are not willing to embrace and utilize all the energy resources we have available closer to home. 

NLRB’s Baseless Complaint Against Boeing

I continue to be disgusted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint filed against Boeing for opening a second assembly line in Charleston.  The NLRB is doing the bidding of the unions at great cost to South Carolina and our nation’s economy.  The foundation of the NLRB complaint against Boeing would destroy the American business community’s ability to negotiate and make rational business decisions.

South Carolina Leaders Oppose NLRB Complaint (Video)

Last week I joined with my South Carolina colleague, Jim DeMint and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) to introduce the Job Protection Act.  It is time for Congress to speak out in a common-sense way against the outrageous, frivolous complaint filed by the unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB.

Port of Charleston

Last week South Carolina took an important first step towards a brighter economic future with the news that Charleston Harbor deepening can move forward.  The Port of Charleston is a major artery in our state’s economy.  From our world-class manufacturing sector exporting cars and tires to our farmers produce, the Port of Charleston serves as South Carolina’s gateway to the world. 

Beginning in 2014, a new generation of large cargo ships will begin coming through an expanded Panama Canal.  These mega-ships will cross the oceans of the world carrying manufactured goods, raw materials, and other cargo to destinations near and far. 

The importance of deepening Charleston Harbor to handle these ships cannot be overstated.  The Port is responsible for 268,000 jobs and $11.8 billion in wages.  In fact, one out of every five jobs in South Carolina is tied – directly and indirectly – to operations of the Port.  I am so pleased that our economic future looks brighter now that we can move forward with this important project. 

 Raise the Debt Limit?

Graham Discusses Debt-Limit (Video)

I share your frustrations about our $14 trillion national debt.  On May 15, we hit our statutory debt limit and according to the Treasury Department, our nation is scheduled to default on or about August 2. 

We should not raise the debt limit before undertaking a serious effort at reforming entitlements and getting federal spending under control.  Recently, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and I introduced our legislation, The Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act.  Our plan wipes away $5.4 trillion in unfunded national debt without raising taxes. 

Raising the debt limit without fundamental reforms of how the President and Congress spend your money is a recipe for even larger piles of debt in the years ahead.  It’s time we get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

Finally, on this Memorial Day weekend let us remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country so that we can continue to live as a free people.  We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay.

Sincerely,

Lindsey

via Legislative Update from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.

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