Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative (SC-3)
American Muslims are the solution, not the problem
There are at least 3,500 American Muslims serving in the armed forces. You are not the enemy. Your religion is not the enemy. I was at the second presidential election in Afghanistan.
The guy guarding me was an American Muslim sergeant in the Army who grew up in Kabul, left when he graduated high school, joined the U.S. Army. He is not the problem. Leave the faith alone. Go after the radicals that kill us all.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate
, Dec 15, 2015
Problems in V.A. are real; threats to homeland are real
Q: What about national security spending in the 2015 budget deal?
GRAHAM: Without national security, there is no economic security. Without the sacrifice of the veteran, all of our hopes and dreams are at risk. Hillary Clinton said that the problems
with the V.A. are being exaggerated by Republicans. They are not; they are real.
Q: Gov. Jindal calls the 2015 budget deal a "phony deal, it doesn't do anything."
GRAHAM: Well, let me tell you what is real. The threat to our homeland. I've never seen
so many threats to our homeland. There are more terrorist organizations with safe havens to attack the American homeland than anytime since 9/11. We're in the process of reducing our defense spending by half. I am looking at this budget with one view in
mind, will it restore the ability to defend this nation. We're on track to have the smallest army since 1940, the smallest navy since 1915, this budget, if it is paid for, will put $40 billion dollars back in the defense department at a time we need it.
Kim Davis, I'm not worried about her attacking me. I am worried about radical Islamic terrorists who are already here planning another 9/11. We're at war, folks. I'm not fighting a crime. I want to have a legal system that understands the difference
between fighting a war and fighting a crime, and here's the reality. Young men from the Mideast are different than Kim Davis. And we've got to understand that. Islamic websites need to be monitored. And if you are on one, I want to know what you're doing
I thought Secretary Clinton did a good job when it came to dealing with our problems in Africa, particularly among women. Here's my problem with Secretary Clinton. Where the hell were you on the night of the Benghazi attack?
How did you let it become a death threat to begin with? And why did you lie about what happened to these people? And if you want a new change in terms of foreign policy, don't pick her, because she's his secretary of state.
Q: Would you authorize a nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear facilities?
GRAHAM: If I believed they were trying to get a bomb, absolutely. And here's the most important thing: they know I would if I had to.
None of us are going to be able to defend this country adequately until we rebuild our military. The first thing I'm going to do as commander in chief on day one is call the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and say, what do you need that you don't have?
I will win a war that we can't afford to lose. I have a plan to destroy radical Islam because it has to be. These are religious Nazis running while President Obama has made one mistake after another and it's caught up with us.
I get my foreign policy from being in on the ground. I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East 35 times in the last decade, trying to understand how we got in this mess. On my watch, we're going to open up more bases.
Lack of ISIL strategy is Commander-in-Chief malpractice
Republican presidential candidates are harshly critiquing President Obama's comments Monday regarding the lack of a "complete strategy" to confront ISIS in Iraq. "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the
Iraqis," the president stated at the G-7 conference in Germany. He highlighted difficulties recruiting Iraqi soldiers, preventing the foreign inflow of ISIS fighters, and resolving sectarian tensions in the war-torn country.
"The threat posed by ISIL is growing exponentially, and President Obama's lack of a strategy is Commander-in-Chief malpractice," Lindsey Graham said in a statement. The South Carolina senator, who chairs several Senate subcommittees related
to foreign affairs, has emphasized his credentials in an attempt to stand out from his opponents. He is a vocal advocate of a more aggressive policy in the Middle East that includes sending troops to Iraq.
Make homeschooled graduates eligible for military service
Graham said at the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina in September 2013, "When you look at the outcomes of homeschooling, it will just blow you away. So here, you can take this one to the bank, you've got no better friend than
Lindsey Graham for homeschooling as an option. I was the one who convinced the Department of Defense to allow homeschooled graduates to be eligible for military service. Why would you want to drive these patriotic kids away?"
Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series
, Jun 2, 2015
Maintain FISA electronic surveillance for terrorist suspects
The USA FREEDOM Act (HR 2048), sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), would establish new evidence requirements for the FBI to present to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court when seeking approval of electronic surveillance of suspected
terrorists, and make a variety of changes to FBI electronic surveillance programs and the oversight of those programs.
A supporter of calling a vote, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), said it accommodated privacy concerns by restricting the set of records
related to terrorism investigations that the government can request from telecommunications companies, while still giving the government the powers it needed to stop terrorism.
A bill opponent, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the bill failed to
require companies to maintain telecommunications records for long enough to make investigations effective. The vote was 57 yeas to 42 nays, with 3/5 majority required to call a vote.
Restore defense cuts made automatically by sequestration
Senator Lindsey Graham made his first pitch to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate at the inaugural "Politics and Pie" town hall in Concord. This was his answer to a question about undoing the automatic defense cuts of sequestration:
about this from day one. I'm sick to my stomach. And here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn't let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to.
We're not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We're not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts. Killing terrorists is the only option other than capturing them, because they're not deterred by death."
The military line was "not to be taken literally," according to a Graham spokesman. But [many newspapers] covered the Graham joke as a serious proposal; [one wrote]: "If taken literally, Graham is basically announcing his plan to stage a coup."
The next stage of the fight against terrorism is in Africa
Q: Boko Haram slaughtered thousands in the same week that 17 people were killed in Paris [but the news was all about the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris]. Should the United States be doing more in Nigeria?
GRAHAM: Yeah, we should be doing more.
But Boko Haram doesn't represent the threat to the homeland in my view that ISIL does and Al Nusra and other groups in Syria and Iraq. But this problem is spreading throughout the world. The next stage of the fight I think is Africa.
But if we could show some resolve in Syria and Iraq and reset the table and go after these guys in Syria and Iraq with success, I think it would change the landscape throughout the world. Success anywhere breeds success everywhere.
Failure in any one spot hurts you everywhere. But you're right, 2,000 people were killed in one weekend in Nigeria and the world basically ignored the story.
Fill Guantanamo with more terrorists instead of closing it
Q: You said recently that if the president released anybody else from Guantanamo Bay that you thought maybe impeachment was in order.
GRAHAM: I didn't say impeachment. I said there would be a constitutional crisis. And it is coming. Senator Kelly
Ayotte will introduce legislation in 2015 to put a moratorium on all releases from Guantanamo Bay because of a 30 percent recidivism rate. There are all kind of restrictions on transferring prisoners that the president is ignoring. Rather than closing
Guantanamo Bay, he should be filling up the place because terrorism on the march. I, along with Senator McCain, want to outlaw water-boarding. But this president takes every terrorist, reads them the Miranda rights, gives them a lawyer, and holds them
for a few days and puts them in a federal court. We can't gather intelligence. There will be one hell of a fight between the president and Republicans and Democrats in 2015 over Guantanamo Bay.
Benghazi:Focus on talking points, not how intel was gathered
Q: The Benghazi report says, (1) no outright intelligence failure; (2) no delay in attempts to rescue Benghazi staff; (3) those famous talking points were inaccurate, but not deliberately misleading. Senator Graham, the report says the misinformation was
flawed, yes, but no political cover-up. So, does this exonerate the administration?
GRAHAM: In my view, Rep. Trey Gowdy and Rep. Elijah Cummings are doing a good job at looking at Benghazi as a whole, [alongside] DOD, the intel community, and the
Q: But yes or no?
GRAHAM: No. I think the report is full of crap, quite frankly.
GRAHAM: The question was not how you gathered intel. Who changed the talking points? It went through several changes. Who came out
with the version most politically beneficial to the administration? The people who have been looking at Benghazi in a stovepipe fashion have not come up with a reasonable explanation for all the shenanigans and the lack of being prepared.
Doing nothing about Benghazi leads to a more dangerous world
Graham released a new ad: "He stands up for America and our troops, challenging the president, asking the tough questions on Iran, Benghazi and radical Islam," the ad's narrator says. "In a dangerous world where the only guarantee of peace is strength,
Lindsey Graham stands strong."
In a recent interview, Graham tied together different areas where he believes Obama has failed: "When you tell the world we're gonna find the people who killed our four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, and
you do nothing about it; whether you agree with his policy in Syria, Egypt, whether you agree with his policies, when he tells people there will be consequences, and there are none, it sets in motion exactly what you see."
Graham argued he wasn't
harping on Benghazi for political reasons: "Everything I've done has been about what I think is best for the country. I think it's best to find the truth about Benghazi, when my primary's over, I'm gonna still be on Benghazi," he said.
More budget & more than 440,000 troops against North Korea
Q: Given the kinds of warfare that are seen in the future, do we need as many people as WWI, WWII, Vietnam, any of those?
GRAHAM: Well, my goal is to deter war. Read the report as to what's going on in North Korea. Do you think the person running
North Korea is rational? It is a gulag. It is Nazi type tactics being practiced in 2014. What if the leader of North Korea woke up tomorrow and said it's time now to take the south. 440,000 members of the United States army is a gutted army.
We do have a lot of technology available to our troops. Every soldier goes into battle with an array of technology and equipment not possessed in World War II. But you still need trigger pullers. So this budget by President Obama guts our defense.
It is the smallest army since 1940. The smallest Navy since 1915 and the smallest air force in modern history. So if you're going to modernize your military for future conflicts, this budget will not allow you to do it.
NSA domestic spying only targets terrorism suspects
In response to new NSA disclosures detailing privacy violations, Democratic Senate candidate Jay Stamper today called on Senator Lindsey Graham to apologize to the people of South Carolina for misleading them about the NSA's record of domestic spying.
The NSA has now disclosed that one of its programs illegally intercepted thousands of domestic emails.
Here's what Graham said back in June: "I'm glad the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country.
I'm a Verizon customer. I don't mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don't think you're talking to the
terrorists. I know you're not. I know I'm not. So we don't have anything to worry about."
Graham seemingly neglected the criticisms that come with operating a surveillance program that blanket tracks the records of people not even suspected of a crime.
Q: NSA leaker Edward Snowden will not be extradited by China or Russia. Is he a hero or a criminal?
GRAHAM: I don't think he's a hero. I believe he hurt or nation.
He compromised our national security program designed to find out what terrorists were up to. So, the freedom trail is not exactly China or Russia.
I hope we'll chase him to the ends of the earth, bring him to justice and let the Russians know there will be consequences if they harbor this guy.
Q: Should we put pressure on Russia to hold him there?
They want to be part of the world community, the WTO. They want a good relationship with the United States. They should hold this felon and send him back home for justice.
Cuts to military systems will leave us with a hollow force
Q: You've got the cuts that sequestration ordered. Why not keep those cuts but give the President the flexibility to decide where within each of his departments those cuts will come?
Sen. McCAIN (R-AZ): As Lindsey gave you the numbers, there are
disproportionate cuts to defense. Defense is 19% of the discretionary spending. It's taken 50% of the cuts.
Q: But wouldn't that be a way to start, though?
GRAHAM: Here's why it won't work. We're taking $45 billion a year out of the Defense
Department over the next decade. At the end of the decade, we're going to have the smallest Navy since 1915, 232 ships. We're going to have the smallest Air Force in history; the smallest Army since 1940. Our defense spending will be below 3% of GDP.
We will have a hollow force. Personnel costs are exempted from sequestration. So you take all the systems, except military pay, and over a decade, you destroy the Defense Department. There is no amount of flexibility in the world will fix this.
President did not do enough to protect Benghazi embassy
Q: During all those recent confirmation hearings, it was pretty obvious that you are still not satisfied with the administration's version of what happened on that night when four Americans died in Benghazi. We understand that on that night, the
government chartered an airplane in Tripoli, and flew some security agents in to Benghazi, but they were held up at the airport. Tell us what you found out about that.
GRAHAM: Well, there's a six-person rescue team left Tripoli to reinforce the annex
in Benghazi. They arrived at 1:30 in the morning Libyan time. And it was not until 5:00 that they could get to the annex. They were held up for three and a half hours at the airport, had a lot of bureaucratic snafus. Here's my question: Did the
president ever pick up the phone and call the Libyan government and say, "Let those people out of the airport?" Secretary Clinton said she was screaming on the phone at Libyan officials. Did the president call? This was incredibly mismanaged.
Canceling Pole/Czech missile defense capitulates to Russia
Obama [told Russia the US] "would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would stop Iran from developing long-range weapons." The Obama administration made the decision to throw our friends Poland & the Czech Republic
under the bus and leave them naked to missile attacks "despite having no public guarantees" that Moscow would help crack down on Iran's missile programs
"This is going to be seen as a capitulation to the Russians, who had no real basis to object to
what we were doing," warned Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. "And at the end of the day you empowered the Russians, you made Iran happy and you made the people in Eastern Europe wonder who we are as Americans." What was Barack Obama's
response? "If the byproduct of it is that Russians feel a little less paranoid and are now willing to work more effectively with us to deal with threats like ballistic missiles from Iran or nuclear development in Iran, you know, then that's a bonus."
2005: interrogations must follow US Army Field Manual rules
The CIA developed a list of enhanced interrogation techniques that were based on the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Program used to prepare our military in case they should be captured. Before using the techniques on any terrorists, the CIA
wanted to determine that they complied with the law, including international treaty obligations such as the UN Convention Against Torture. Out of that review process, which took several months, came legal opinions advising that the techniques were lawful
The program was approved by the president & the NSC.
Despite the invaluable intelligence we were obtaining through the program of enhanced interrogation, in 2005 there was a move on Capitol Hill, led by Sen. John McCain & Lindsey Graham, to end it and
require that all US government interrogations be conducted under the rules of the US Army Field Manual.
[We failed in] an effort to reach an agreement with Senator McCain and explain to him how damaging his proposed amendment would be.
Graham, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, has been “one of the strongest supporters of Bush’s” effort to bring hope to the people of Iraq and security to the US. He understands the battle for the future of Iraq is not about the political moment
It’s about the next decade and the decades to follow. Graham was “a chief architect” of the Military Commissions Act. The legislation establishes the procedures and rules for trying some of the terrorist detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba. It also ensures terrorists cannot sue American troops. At the White House bill signing ceremony on the MCA, Graham was among a select group of lawmakers who stood on stage with President Bush who labeled the law as “one of the most important pieces
of legislation in the War on Terror.” Graham introduced and passed into law legislation allowing families and members of the National Guard and Reserves to enroll year-around in TRICARE, the military health care system, for a monthly premium.
Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.
Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: [Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving"
wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: [Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12
Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act;
; vote number 11-SV019
on Feb 17, 2011
Voted YES on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army.
Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. INOUYE. From the Spanish-American War in 1898, until the end of World War II, we exercised jurisdiction over the Philippines like a colonial power. In July 1941, we called upon the Filipinos to volunteer to serve the US under American command, and 470,000 Filipinos volunteered. An Executive Order in 1941 promised Filipinos if they fought for us, they could become citizens of the US and get all of the veterans' benefits. But in 1946, the Congress rescinded the 1941 act. Well, this veterans bill has a provision in it--a provision of honor--in which, finally, after six decades, we will restore our honor and tell the Filipinos: It is late, but please forgive us. Proponents argument for voting YEA:Sen. BURR. This bill is so much more than just a pension for Philippine veterans. It is $332 million in Philippine benefits, of which $221 million is devoted to a new special pension that does not exist [previously.
Only that $221M would be cut]. Regardless of the outcome of my amendment, I support final passage of this bill. But we do have a difference as it relates to the pensions. I believe that there was not a promise made. We did not imply it. Those who made the decision on the 1946 Rescissions Act, they looked at the history very well.
Sen. CORNYN. The problem I have with this bill is that the US Treasury is not bottomless, and the funding that is being provided to create this new pension would literally be at the expense of US veterans. The $221 million that is addressed by Sen. Burr's amendment would actually go back in to supplement benefits for US veterans. And while we appreciate and honor all of our allies who fought alongside of us in WWII, certainly that doesn't mean we are going to grant pension benefits to all of our allies, [like] the British or the Australians. Vote for the Burr Amendment because certainly our American veterans should be our priority.
Voted NO on requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. FEINGOLD: The Protect America Act (PAA) we passed last year was sold repeatedly as a way to allow the Government to collect foreign-to-foreign communications without needing the approval of the FISA Court. Now, this is something all of us support, every one of us. But the PAA actually went much further. It authorized new sweeping intrusions into the privacy of countless Americans. The bill the Senate is considering to replace the PAA does not do nearly enough to safeguard against Government abuse. So this amendment would provide those safeguards.
[The PAA allows] acquiring all the calls and e-mails between employees of a US company and a foreign company, with no requirement to get a warrant and no requirement that there be some link to terrorism. So any American who works at a company that does business overseas should think about that.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:
Sen. BOND: The purpose of this bill is, and always has been, to enable the intelligence community to act to target foreign terrorists and spies overseas.
The amendment, as it is drafted, will have a totally unexpected impact. It is difficult to explain, in an unclassified session, why this amendment is unworkable. There are only certain communications which the intelligence community is lawfully permitted to acquire, and which it has any desire to acquire, because to acquire all the communications from all foreigners is an absolutely impossible task.
I cannot describe in a public setting how they go about ascertaining which collections are important. But to say that if Osama bin Laden calls somebody in the US, we cannot listen in to that communication, unless we have an independent means of verifying it has some impact or a terrorist threat--That is the most important communication we need to intercept.
Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad.
Vote on passage of S.1927, the Protect America Act: Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to state that nothing under its definition of "electronic surveillance" should encompass surveillance directed at any person reasonably believed to be located outside the US.
A modified version, S.2011, failed; it called for amending FISA to provide that a court order is not required for the electronic surveillance of communication between foreign persons who are not located within the US for collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the US or the surveillance device is located within the US.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Sen. LEVIN: Both bills cure the problem that exists: Our intelligence agencies must obtain a court order to monitor the communications of foreigners suspected of terrorist activities who are physically located in foreign countries. Now, what are the major differences?
Our bill (S2011) is limited to foreign targets limited overseas, unlike the Bond bill (S1927), which does not have that key limitation and which very clearly applies to US citizens overseas. Our bill does not. Now, if there is an incidental access to US citizens, we obviously will permit that. But the Bond bill goes beyond that, citing "any person." It does not say a "foreign person." We avoid getting to the communications of Americans. There you have to go for a warrant.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Sen. LIEBERMAN: I will vote for the Bond proposal (S1927) because we are at war, & there is increased terrorist activity. We have a crisis. This proposal will allow us to gather intelligence information on that enemy we otherwise would not gather. This is not the time for striving for legislative perfection. Let us not strive for perfection. Let us put national security first. We are going to have 6 months to reason together to find something better.
Reference: Protect America Act;
; vote number 2007-309
on Aug 3, 2007
Voted NO on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months.
Vote on an amendment, SA2032, which amends HR1585, the Defense Authorization bill: To limit the deployment of a unit or individual of the Armed Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom to no more than 12 consecutive months; and to limit Marine Corps deployment to no more than 7 consecutive months; except in time of national emergency.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Sen. HAGEL: The war in Iraq has pushed the US Army to the breaking point. When we deploy our military, we have an obligation to ensure that our troops are rested, ready, prepared, fully trained, and fully equipped. Today's Armed Forces are being deployed repeatedly for increasing periods of time. This is quickly wearing down the troops and their families, impacting the mental and physical health of our troops. Further, these deployments are affecting the recruiting and retention rates of the military. For example, the Army reached only a little over 80% of its recruiting goal for June.
This is the second month in a row that the Army has failed to recruit the number of new soldiers needed to fill the ranks. And this is with $1 billion in large cash bonus incentives.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Sen. KYL: Time in theater and dwell times should be a goal, rather than an absolute fixed requirement that becomes the policy of the US military determined by congressional action. By mandating a certain policy for deployment time or dwell time, the Congress is engaged in the most explicit micromanaging of what is obviously a function for the Commander in Chief and military commanders to perform. This is not something Members of Congress are knowledgeable about or would have the ability to dictate in any responsible fashion. It also would be unconstitutional. Clearly, the dwell times of troops or the amount of time in theater is an obligation of the Commander in Chief, not something for the Congress to determine.
Voted NO on implementing the 9/11 Commission report.
Vote on passage of a bill to implement unfinished recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) to fight the war on terror more effectively:
I: Improving Intelligence and Information Sharing within the Federal Government and with State, Local, and Tribal Governments
II: Homeland Security Grants
III: Communications Operability and Interoperability
IV: Emergency Management Performance Grants Program
V: Enhancing Security of International Travel
VI: Privacy and Civil Liberties Matters
VII: Enhanced Defenses Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
VIII: Private Sector Preparedness
IX: Transportation Security Planning and Information Sharing
X: Incident Command System
XI: Critical Infrastructure Protection
XII: Congressional Oversight of Intelligence
XIII: International Cooperation on Antiterrorism Technologies
XIV: Transportation and Interoperable Communication
XV: Public Transportation Terrorism Prevention
XVII: 911 Modernization
XIX: Advancement of Democratic Values
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
One of the authors of the 9/11 Commission report said, the President's announced strategy should be given a chance to succeed. That is what I think we should do, give this plan a chance to succeed. Our troops in theater, our commanders, and the Iraqi leaders all believe they can see early signs of success in this program, even though it has just begun, and they are cautiously optimistic that it can succeed. I think it would be unconscionable for the Congress, seeing the beginnings of success here, to then act in any way that would pull the rug out from under our troops and make it impossible for them to achieve their mission.
Reference: Improving America's Security Act;
Bill S. 4
; vote number 2007-073
on Mar 13, 2007
Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees.
Sen. Specter's amendment would strike the provision regarding habeas review. The underlying bill authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. Excerpts from the Senate floor debate:
Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.
Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of
habeas corpus is maintained.
GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.
SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.
Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods.
Amendment to provide for congressional oversight of certain Central Intelligence Agency programs. The underlying bill S. 3930 authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. The amendment requires quarterly reports describing all CIA detention facilities; the name of each detainee; their suspected activities; & each interrogation technique authorized for use and guidelines on the use of each such technique.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.
This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.
If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.
We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.
This vote reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act with some modifications (amendments). Voting YEA extends the PATRIOT Act, and voting NAY would phase it out. The official summary of the bill is:
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
Some may see the vote we are about to have as relatively trivial. They are mistaken. While the bill we are voting on makes only minor cosmetic changes to the PATRIOT Act, it will allow supporting the PATRIOT Act conference report that was blocked in December. Cosmetic changes simply don't cut it when we are talking about protecting the rights and freedoms of
Americans from unnecessarily intrusive Government powers.
The White House has tried to make life uncomfortable for Senators. It has suggested they are soft on terrorism, that they don't understand the pressing threat facing this country, that they are stuck in a pre-9/11 mindset. Those attacks should be rejected.
We can fight terrorism aggressively without compromising our most fundamental freedoms against Government intrusion. The Government grabbed powers it should not have when it passed the original PATRIOT Act and we should not be ratifying that power grab today. The PATRIOT Act reauthorization conference report is flawed. S. 2271 pretends to fix it but I don't think anyone is fooled, least of all our constituents.
Because the Republican leadership obstructed efforts to improve the bill, the "police state" provisions regarding gag orders remain uncorrected. The Senate should get down to the serious business of legislating real fixes to the PATRIOT Act.
Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.
Vote to invoke cloture on a conference report that extends the authority of the FBI to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access business records. Voting YES would recommend, in effect, that the PATRIOT Act be extended through December 31, 2009, and would makes the provisions of the PATRIOT Act permanent. Voting NO would extend debate further, which would have the effect of NOT extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.
Reference: Motion for Cloture of PATRIOT Act;
Bill HR 3199
; vote number 2005-358
on Dec 16, 2005
Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism.
Vote to adopt an amendment that makes US businesses and their subsidiaries liable to prosecution for dealing with foreign businesses which have links to terrorism or whose parent country supports terrorism. Voting YES would:
Empower the President under the Trading with the Enemy Act to prohibit US businesses and their subsidiaries from transacting with foreign businesses identified as having links to terrorism.
Forbid US businesses and their subsidiaries from engaging in transactions with any foreign business whose parent country has been identified as a supporter of international terrorism.
Require the President to publish a list of foreign businesses identified as having links to terrorism, and bans US ownership or control of foreign businesses engaged in transactions with such businesses.
Call for US businesses to disclose in their annual reports any ownership stake of at least 10% in a foreign business that is itself engaging in transactions with a proscribed foreign business.
Voted NO on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders.
Amendment intended to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by restoring $565 million in cuts to vital first-responder programs in the Department of Homeland Security, including the State Homeland Security Grant program, by providing $150 million for port security grants and by providing $140 million for 1,000 new border patrol agents.
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns.
Armed Airline Pilots Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would create a program where commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would then be permitted to carry guns aboard airlines. To participate in the program, commercial pilots would have to undergo specialized training. At least 250 commercial pilots would undergo the training. Within two months of the bill's enactment, the Transportation Security Agency or TSA, would then be required to begin weapons training for pilots who had volunteered for the program. Airlines and pilots will not be held legally accountable when defending planes from terrorist acts except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence The TSA could temporarily put the program on hold if a pilot's gun unintentionally discharges and causes injury to a crew member or passanger. The bill also would entail flight attendants to undergo self-defense training. Also study training all federal law enforcement officers on aviation anti-terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL;
Bill HR 4635
; vote number 2002-292
on Jul 10, 2002
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.
Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA;
Bill HR 2561
; vote number 1999-334
on Jul 22, 1999
Voted YES on deploying SDI.
Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA;
Bill HR 4
; vote number 1999-4
on Mar 18, 1999
Federalize aviation security.
Graham co-sponsored the Aviation Security Act
Establishes the Transportation Security Administration, including:
civil aviation security, and related research and development activities;
day-to-day Federal security screening operations for passenger air transportation and intrastate air transportation;
policies, strategies, and plans for dealing with threats to transportation;
domestic transportation during a national emergency, including aviation, rail, and other surface transportation
management of security information, including notifying airport or airline security officers of the identity of individuals known to pose a risk of air piracy or terrorism or a threat to airline or passenger safety.
H.R. 2951 is the corresponding House bill. Became Public Law No: 107-71.
Source: Bill sponsored by 31 Senators and 25 Reps 01-S1447 on Sep 21, 2001
Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.
Graham scores 0% by SANE on peace issues
Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...
That every person has the right to live without the threat of nuclear weapons.
That war is not a suitable response to conflict.
That America has the resources to both protect and provide for its citizens.
As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Graham co-sponsored prohibiting torture of terrorists in US custody
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This amendment would ban waterboarding at Guantanamo prison. McCain specifies several international treaties which include bans on waterboarding; and cites "regardless of physical location" to include Guantanamo. McCain cites too that this ban is nothing new; but the US has, in fact, been using waterboarding at Guantanamo.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To prohibit cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the custody or control of the United States Government.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This amendment would prohibit cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in the detention of the US Government. The amendment doesn't sound like anything new. That is because it isn't. The prohibition has been a longstanding principle in both law and policy in the United States. All of this seems to be common sense and in accordance with longstanding
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
The President may waive the prohibition, on a case-by-case basis, if the President determines that the waiver is required for a military or national security necessity; and submits to Congress timely notice of the exercise of the waiver.
This shall not be construed to impose any geographical limitation on the applicability of the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
The term "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" means punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution, as defined in the UN Convention Against Torture, December 10, 1984.
Source: Defense Authorization Bill (S.AMDT.1556 to S.1042) 05-SP1556 on Jul 25, 2005
Sponsored bill for Iraq budget to be part of defense budget.
Graham introduced requiring Iraq War budget be part of regular defense budget
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: Since the start of both the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war, expenditures for those war have been voted for in "emergency supplemental spending bills," instead of in the normal defense spending bill. That implies that the expenditures are unexpectedly high, which may have been true in the early years of the war. This amendment requires regular budgeting for the Afghanistan & Iraq wars.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To require regular budgeting for ongoing military operations.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
The President's budget for each fiscal year after 2007 shall include--
a request for funds for such fiscal year for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;
an estimate of all funds expected to be required in that fiscal year for such operations; and
a detailed justification of the funds requested.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote, 98-0, Vote Number: 170.
Source: Defense Authorization Bill (S.AMDT.4242 to S.2766) 06-SP4242 on Jun 14, 2006
Extend reserve retirement pay parity back to 9/11.
Graham co-sponsored extending reserve retirement pay parity back to 9/11
Congress makes the following findings:
Since September 11, 2001, members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces have been sent into harm's way and fought alongside members of the regular components of the Armed Forces.
Between September 11, 2001, and December 7, 2007, more than 600,000 members of the reserve components have been mobilized in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other contingency operations.
More than 142,000 members of the reserve components have been mobilized more than once during this same period.
On December 7, 2007, the conference report for H. R. 1585 offered an earlier retirement benefit for members of the reserve components who are mobilized in support of contingency operations.
The House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to the conference report on December 14, 2007.
However, the conference report only considers service performed after the date of the enactment, and this effective date fails to recognize the service and sacrifice made by members of the reserve components since September 11, 2001.
Source: Reservists Parity for Patriots Act (S.2836/H.R.4930) 07-S2836 on Dec 19, 2007
Improve educational assistance for veterans.
Graham introduced improving educational assistance for veterans
A bill to improve educational assistance for members of the Armed Forces and veterans in order to enhance recruitment and retention for the Armed Forces.
Enhancement of Recruitment, Retention, and Readjustment Through Education Act of 2008: to develop additional programs to enable members of the Armed Forces to attain a bachelor's degree while pursuing a military career.
Increases rates of educational assistance: (1) under the Montgomery GI Bill; (2) for members of the Selected Reserve.
Provides an annual stipend for individuals receiving basic educational assistance and pursuing a program of education at an approved institution of higher education.
Allows a member who has completed six years of service to transfer to one or more dependents any unused portion of the member's educational assistance entitlement.
Authorizes a member on active duty & entitled to basic educational assistance to use all or a portion thereof to repay any outstanding federal student loan.
Makes eligible for enrollment under the Montgomery GI Bill certain retired personnel originally enrolled in the veterans' educational assistance program.
Congress makes the following findings:
The World War II-era GI Bill assisted almost 8,000,000 members of the Armed Forces in readjusting to civilian life after completing their service to the nation.
The establishment of the All Volunteer Force in 1973 has produced highly professional Armed Forces.
The Sonny Montgomery GI Bill was enacted in 1984 to sustain the All Volunteer Force by providing educational benefits to aid in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel.
The All Volunteer Force depends for its effectiveness and vitality on successful recruiting of highly capable men and women.
The achievement of educational goals, including obtaining the means to a college degree, has traditionally been a key reason for volunteering for service in the Armed Forces.
Source: Enhancement of Recruitment ThrU Education Act (S2938/HR5944) 08-S2938 on Apr 29, 2008
No transfers of Gitmo prisoners to US or abroad.
Graham co-sponsored H.R.401 & S.165
Congressional Summary: To extend and enhance limitations on the transfer or release of individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay. No amounts appropriated for any agency of the US Government may be used, for two years, to construct or modify any facility in the US, to house an individual detained at Guantanamo.
Proponents reasons for voting YEA: Rep. WALORSKI: 21 terrorists have been released just in November alone to foreign countries. This measure would repeal current law that has allowed the administration to transfer prisoners to foreign countries and reduce the population at GTMO down to 127. Detainees at GTMO pose a real threat to our national security. HR 401 would prohibit any detainee transfers to Yemen. Yemen's branch of al Qaeda was founded by former GTMO detainees. We cannot risk trusting the world's most dangerous terrorists to its most dangerous places, nor should we simply cut them loose in rich, stable countries with no security
safeguards in place.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (CloseGuantanamo.org article, Jan. 2015): The prison at Guantanamo Bay has been open for 13 years. In 2009, President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo within a year. Yet it remains open, undermining America's values and national security. Almost half of the remaining 122 prisoners--55 men in total--were cleared for release in 2010 through 2013. Some of these men were previously cleared by the Bush Administration--some as long ago as 2004. It is unacceptable that the U.S. government continues to hold men that its own national security experts have recommended for release or transfer, and that Congress has intervened to maintain this deplorable state of affairs. We call for the immediate closure of Guantanamo. Guantanamo harms our nation every day it stays open, and it continues to serve as a potent symbol for terrorist recruitment.
Source: Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act 15_S165 on Feb 23, 2015
Set minimum spending on defense at 4% of GDP.
Graham co-sponsored setting minimum spending on defense at 4% of GDP
The resolution supports a base Defense Budget that at the very minimum matches 4% of gross domestic product:
Whereas the defense of the US is contingent unconditional moral and monetary support from the Congress;
Whereas the US is engaged in a long war with those who employ terror;
Whereas current equipment is being worn out and damaged and must be rebuilt or replaced;
Whereas there is a broad consensus that there must be significant personnel increases of 94,000 soldiers within the next 5 years;
Whereas the defense budget is scheduled to drop in the coming years, to just 3.2% of GDP by 2012;
Whereas a defense budget of 4% of GDP is far lower than during the Cold War and almost a full percentage point lower than the 'hollow force' era following the Vietnam War;
Therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House, That it is the policy of the United States to commit a minimum of 4% of the Nation's gross domestic product to the base defense budget in order to meet the fundamental National security requirements of the United States.
Source: Resolution for Minimum Defense Budget (HJ.Res.67/SJ.Res.26) 2007-HJR67 on Dec 6, 2007
No US troops under UN command; more defense spending.
Graham signed the Contract with America:
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The National Security Restoration Act: No US troops under UN command, and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA8 on Sep 27, 1994