Lindsey Graham

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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.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Graham's academic, professional and political career:[1]

  • 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[2]:

  • 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:


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.[3] 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).[4]

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.[5]

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. [6]

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.[7]

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.[8][9][10]

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?"[11]


Full history


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

Graham will face 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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]

Lindsey Graham (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[21]4/15/2013$4,412,522.84$1,173,386.93$(203,139.28)$5,382,770.49
July Quarterly[22]7/13/2013$5,382,770.49$1,406,955.71$(479,739.23)$6,309,986.97
Running totals


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.[23]


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.[24]

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.[25]

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 he 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.[26]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, 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.[27]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, 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.[28]

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.[29]


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.[30]

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.[31]

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.

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Graham is single.

External links


  1. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Lindsey Graham," Accessed November 4, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  3. ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
  4. Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
  5. "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
  6. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
  7. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  8. CNN "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  9. USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  10. ABC News "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  11. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  12. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  13. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. Daily Caller "Nancy Mace to announce primary challenge against Lindsey Graham," Accessed August 1, 2013
  19. Open Secrets "Donor history for Lindsey Graham" Accessed April 25, 2013
  20. Federal Election Commission "Graham 2014 Summary reports," Accessed August 1, 2013
  21. FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2013
  22. FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2013
  23. Open Secrets "Lindsey Graham 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed November 4, 2011
  24. Gov Track "Lindsey Graham," Accessed July 2, 2013
  25. GovTrack, "Graham," Accessed April 11, 2013
  26. LegiStorm "Lindsey Graham"
  27., "Graham, (R-South Carolina), 2011"
  28., "Graham, (R-SC), 2010"
  29. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  30. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  31. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim DeMint
U.S. Senate - South Carolina
Succeeded by