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Difference between revisions of "Lindsey Graham"

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=====Government shutdown=====
=====Government shutdown=====
:''See also:[[United States budget debate, 2013]]''
:''See also:[[United States budget debate, 2013]]''
Graham will be donating his salary to the Wounded Warriors Project while the government is on shutdown.<ref>[ ''Politico,'' "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013]</ref>
Graham donated his salary to the Wounded Warriors Project while the government was shutdown.<ref>[ ''Politico,'' "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013]</ref>
=====No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013=====
=====No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013=====

Revision as of 06:55, 28 October 2013

Lindsey Graham
Lindsey Graham.jpg
U.S. Senate, South Carolina
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 12
PredecessorJ. Strom Thurmond (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 5, 2002
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$17,833,932
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Representative, U.S. House of Representatives
Representative, South Carolina House of Representatives
City Attorney, Central South Carolina
Bachelor'sUniversity of South Carolina, Columbia, 1977
J.D.University of South Carolina Law School, 1981
Military service
Service/branchSouth Carolina Air National Guard
Years of service1989-1994
Date of birthJuly 9, 1955
Place of birthSeneca, SC
Net worth$904,983
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Office website
Lindsey Graham (b. July 9, 1955, in Seneca, South Carolina) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of South Carolina. Graham was first elected to the Senate in 2002.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Graham served in the South Carolina House of Representatives and represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Graham is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Republican Party line more than his fellow members.


Graham was born in Seneca, South Carolina on July 9, 1955.[1] He graduated from Daniel High School in Central, S.C. 1973.[1]

Graham worked as a lawyer in a private practice prior to entering Congress.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Graham's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 1977: Received his B.A. from University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • 1981: Received his J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law
  • 1982-1988: United States Air Force
  • 1989-1995: South Carolina Air National Guard
  • 1995-Present: United States Air Force Reserves
  • 1988-1992: Served as assistant county attorney, Oconee County, S.C.
  • 1990-1994: Served as city attorney for Central, S.C.
  • 1992-1994: Served as member of the South Carolina state house of representatives
  • 1995-2003: Served as a Republican in the U.S. Congress
  • 2003-Present: U.S Senator from South Carolina

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Graham serves on the following Senate committees[3]:

  • Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
  • Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on SeaPower
    • Subcommittee on Personnel
    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
  • Budget
  • United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
    • Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
    • Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee


Graham served on the following Senate committees:


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[4] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Graham's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Graham expressed frustration with President Obama over the Syria situation in September 2013. Obama said he would seek Congressional approval prior to intervening in Syria and Graham believed this was a mistake--"Well, this is about the most mismanaged situation I’ve ever seen since World War II when they were trying to to control the Nazis. I just- this is bizarre. We’re going, we’re not going, we don’t need Congress, yes we do." Although intervention could be a tough sell to Congress, Graham added, "Let’s see if we can come up with a strategy that has a chance of working. A military strike to degrade Assad, upgrading the rebel opposition forces, regional players help carrying some of the burden makes sense to me. This is [sic] all bad options, but that option to me has a chance of working."[6]

Statement on Russian deal
Graham and Senator John McCain released a joint statement on the Russian deal with Syria to relinquish Syria's chemical weapons. McCain and Graham called the deal, "an act of provocative weakness on America’s part. We cannot imagine a worse signal to send to Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon." They added, "Is the message of this agreement that Assad is now our negotiating partner, and that he can go on slaughtering innocent civilians and destabilizing the Middle East using every tool of warfare, so long as he does not use chemical weapons? That is morally and strategically indefensible." The two senators offered their own recommendation saying, “The only way this underlying conflict can be brought to a decent end is by significantly increasing our support to moderate opposition forces in Syria. We must strengthen their ability to degrade Assad’s military advantage, change the momentum on the battlefield, and thereby create real conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict."[7]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Graham voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[8]

Drone filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[9][10][11]

Graham spoke out against Rand Paul and those that stood with him, following the filibuster. He said, "To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you? They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?"[12]


Government shutdown
See also:United States budget debate, 2013

Graham donated his salary to the Wounded Warriors Project while the government was shutdown.[13]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Graham voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[14]


Completion of fence along Mexico border

Voted "No" Graham voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[15]

Gang of Eight

Graham is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[16] The group calls for comprehensive and bipartisan immigration legislation that includes their "four basic pillars":

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[17]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Voted "No" Graham voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[18]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Graham voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]

Senate Judiciary Committee

Graham was first appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was sworn in in January of 2003. Graham has continued South Carolina's long streak of representation on the Senate Judiciary Committee after Strom Thurmond's death in 2003. Thurmond served on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1967 till his death.[20]

Senator Graham also serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs as the Republican Ranking Member, and serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on the Constitution and Administrative Oversight and the Courts. [21]

Rand Paul

On the eve of a trip to South Carolina, Rand Paul said in an interview on August 23, 2013, he is “unlikely” to get involved in the brewing Senate primary there between incumbent Lindsey Graham and several would-be conservative challengers.[22]

Paul has clashed with Graham in recent months over Paul's support for reducing U.S. foreign aid, specifically to Egypt.[22] Paul proposed cutting off aid to the North African nation after the military seized power there, while Graham initially opposed that proposal.[22]

“The message I’ve been talking a lot about lately is we don’t have enough money to be sending it overseas and squandering it,” Paul said, suggesting military assistance to Egypt would be “counterproductive. If you’re an Egyptian and you’re protesting your government in the street and you’re facing down an American tank, it doesn’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart for America. I don’t know what more tanks are going to do for them, or more fighter jets or more tear gas.”[22]

Multiple Graham challengers have criticized his general support for foreign engagement: State senator Lee Bright blasted Graham as a “community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood,” while Nancy Mace criticized the incumbent earlier this month for standing “with our president to support a failed foreign policy.”[22] Graham revised his views on Egypt in August 2013 in response to spiraling violence against protesters on the ground there and has called for a suspension of aid.[22]

Without naming names, Paul said he’s not entirely convinced by his fellow Republicans who have shifted stances on aid to Egypt, questioning whether they’d seek to continue sending cash to Egypt by backdoor means. But, he said, “It’s a debate that ultimately is coming in our direction.”[22]

Of the South Carolina primary, Paul said: “I’ve met, I think, all three of the challengers, and like I said, I haven’t made a decision and I think it’s probably unlikely that I’ll get involved.”[22]

Senate Conservative Fund target

The Senate Conservative Fund targeted Graham in August 2013 with two weeks of radio ads designed to push Senate Republicans to support Utah's Mike Lee's effort to defund Obamacare.[23]


Full history


See also: United States Senate elections in South Carolina, 2014

Graham ran for re-election in 2014. He faces a Republican primary challenge from Charleston businesswoman, Nancy Mace. Mace is the first woman graduate from South Carolina's military college, the Citadel. The primary will be held in July 2014.[30]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Graham is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Graham raised a total of $17,833,932 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[31]

Lindsey Graham's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (South Carolina) Won $9,713,500
2002 U.S. Senate (South Carolina) Won $5,838,233
2000 US House (South Carolina, District 3) Won $2,282,199
Grand Total Raised $17,833,932


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Graham's reports.[32]

Lindsey Graham (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]4/15/2013$4,412,522.84$1,173,386.93$(203,139.28)$5,382,770.49
July Quarterly[34]7/13/2013$5,382,770.49$1,406,955.71$(479,739.23)$6,309,986.97
Running totals

Graham received a $5,000 campaign donation from former President George W. Bush in the third quarter.[35]


Graham won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Graham's campaign committee raised a total of $9,713,500 and spent $6,596,229.[36]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[37]

Graham most often votes with:

Graham least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Graham is a "moderate Republican leader," as of July 2, 2013.[38]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Graham missed 113 of 3,253 roll call votes from January 2003 to April 2013. This amounts to 3.5%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[39]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Graham paid his congressional staff a total of $2,593,274 in 2011. He ranks 14th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 53rd overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, South Carolina ranks 29th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[40]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Graham's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $505,987 and $1,303,979. That averages to $904,983, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 2.63% from 2010.[41]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Grahams's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $489,790 and $1,273,783. That averages to $881,786.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[42]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Graham was 1 of 2 members who ranked 33rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[43]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Graham ranked 42nd in the conservative rankings.[44]

Political positions

Voting with party


Lindsey Graham voted with the Republican Party 79.2% of the time, which ranked 42nd among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[45]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Lindsey + Graham + South Carolina + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...


Graham is single.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Congressional Bioguide, "Lindsey Graham," accessed September 18, 2013
  2. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Lindsey Graham," Accessed November 4, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. Politico, "Lindsey Graham to Obama: Up your game", accessed September 3, 2013
  7. Politico, "U.S.-Russia Syria deal: Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham slam agreement", accessed September 14, 2013
  8. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  9. CNN "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  10. USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  11. ABC News "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  12. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  13. Politico, "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013
  14. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  16. ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
  17. Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  20. "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
  21. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 Politico, "Rand Paul, heading to South Carolina, talks Lindsey Graham, Egypt," accessed August 26, 2013
  23. The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. Daily Caller "Nancy Mace to announce primary challenge against Lindsey Graham," Accessed August 1, 2013
  31. Open Secrets "Donor history for Lindsey Graham" Accessed April 25, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission "Graham 2014 Summary reports," Accessed August 1, 2013
  33. FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2013
  34. FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2013
  35. Political Wire, "Bush Donates to Graham's Senate Bid", accessed October 25, 2013
  36. Open Secrets "Lindsey Graham 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed November 4, 2011
  37. OpenCongress, "Lindsey Graham," Accessed August 8, 2013
  38. Gov Track "Lindsey Graham," Accessed July 2, 2013
  39. GovTrack, "Graham," Accessed April 11, 2013
  40. LegiStorm "Lindsey Graham"
  41., "Graham, (R-South Carolina), 2011"
  42., "Graham, (R-SC), 2010"
  43. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  44. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  45. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim DeMint
U.S. Senate - South Carolina
Succeeded by