Business & Economy
Grassley Receives Jobs Champion Award from the American Wind Energy Association PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:28
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today received a USA Wind Jobs Champion Award from the American Wind Energy Association for “his determined support and diligent work in helping to create and sustain U.S. jobs in the wind energy industry and its manufacturing supply chain.”

John Ragan of TPI Composites and Denise Bode of the American Wind Energy Association presented a commemorative plaque and wind turbine bolt as part of the award this afternoon.  TPI Composites operates a 316,000 square foot wind turbine blade facility in Newton.

Senator Grassley authored the legislation that established the tax credit for wind energy in 1992 as a way to provide a level playing field for this renewable resource against coal-fired and nuclear energy and to help grow an innovative energy industry.

Today, Grassley is the author of bipartisan legislation to extend the tax credit for two years after it expires at the end of the year.  If the tax credit lapses, an estimated 37,000 jobs could be lost across the country.

“Tax relief has proven successful in developing wind energy, and it ought to be continued with the degree of certainty needed for continued investment and development of this clean energy alternative,” Grassley said.  “Wind is free, inexhaustible, and environmentally friendly.  Conventional energy sources, including oil, gas and nuclear, enjoy countless tax incentives and many of them are permanent law.”

Nationwide, the wind energy industry supports 75,000 jobs and drives as much as $20 billion in private investment.  During the last five years, 35 percent of all new electric generation in the United States was wind.  There are nearly 400 wind-related manufacturing facilities today, compared with just 30 in 2004.

In Iowa, the wind energy industry employs 5,000 full-time workers, and there are major wind manufacturing facilities in Newton, West Branch, Cedar Rapids and Fort Madison.

Iowa generates 20 percent of its electricity needs from wind.  Wind energy powers the equivalent of a million homes.  There are nearly 3,000 utility-scale turbines in Iowa, and they generate lease payments to landowners worth $12.5 million every year.

Iowa Needs Big Ideas, not Small Steps, to Economic Recovery PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Mark Lucas   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:15

Americans for Prosperity - Iowa Urges Senate to Pass Property Tax Relief

DES MOINES, IA - Today Americans for Prosperity - Iowa, representing nearly 20,000 Iowan free-market activists, announced its support for Governor Brandstad's property tax relief and urged the Senate to quickly pass the legislation recently passed by the House. The primary obstacle to the bill lies with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, who has refused to consider the legislation.

"Senator Gronstal is not interested in the bold solutions offered in the House bill," said Mark Lucas, State Director of Americans for Prosperity - Iowa. "He would much rather “take small steps” as he said on Iowa Press. Our struggling businesses and unemployed residents deserve big ideas for big problems."

The property tax plan that passed the House and has Governor Brandstad's support provides relief to businesses, farmers, and home owners. The bill will prevent a $1.2 billion tax increase over the next 8 years on all classes of property. Home owners will avoid a tax hike of over a half of a billion dollars.

"Senator Gronstal has inaccurately described the plan as "the biggest tax shift in the history of the state,'" continued Lucas. "His calculations are simply false when he said the bill would punish home owners."

"This bill is the type of bold solution our economy needs to get back on track. Governor Branstad’s tax package will give businesses the confidence boost to expand and employ more Iowans," Lucas concluded.

Harkin Congratulates Dr. Kim on World Bank Nomination PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after President Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim, an American physician and the current president of Dartmouth College, to lead the World Bank.  Dr. Kim spent much of his childhood in Muscatine, Iowa.

“This son of Iowa recognizes the significance of quality health care, the importance of increasing access to care, and its impact on the global economy.  His nomination comes on an important day – the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.  Dr. Kim has distinguished himself as one of the great thinkers of our time and I congratulate him on his nomination today.”


Bringing Political Intelligence Agents Out of the Shadows PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:29

Senator Chuck Grassley will continue to work to enact legislation requiring the agents of the $400 million political intelligence industry to disclose their interests, as lobbyists do. These operatives collect information from Congress and federal agencies and sell the information to Wall Street firms. This week, the majority leader of the United States Senate dealt a blow for good government and transparency by using his power to shut out Senator Grassley’s effort.  It was a victory for Wall Street and those who prefer the secrecy of the status quo.  It was a defeat for the American people and the overwhelming majority in Congress that supports the legislation.

Click here for the audio clip.

Here is the text of the address:

This week, the majority leader of the United States Senate used his power to shut out my effort to require political intelligence agents to register, as lobbyists do.

At a growing rate, political intelligence professionals collect information from Congress and federal agencies and sell the information to Wall Street firms.  The firms use the information to buy and sell stocks and presumably profit.  My proposal is focused on the people who make their living gathering information and selling it to Wall Street.  It specifically exempts reporters from any disclosure requirements.

A Washington Post news story this week said the political intelligence amendment, combined an enhanced prosecution amendment by Senator Leahy, which also was dropped, “transformed the (insider trading) bill into the most sweeping ethics legislation Congress had considered since 2007.”

The decision to scrap a requirement for registration by political intelligence professionals is a blow for good government and transparency.  It’s a victory for Wall Street and a defeat for the American people.  It’s a victory for those who prefer the secrecy of the status quo.


The reform had the support of 60 senators in a vote earlier this year, and the original House bill has 286 co-sponsors.  So, even though political intelligence registration got left out of this bill, I’ll keep looking for ways to bring it back.




Schilling Initiatives to help Job Creators Advance PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:18

Washington, DC – This week the House Armed Services Committee’s bipartisan Defense Business Panel, on which Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) serves, released the report of its findings, Challenges to Doing Business with the Department of Defense: Findings of the Panel on Business Challenges in the Defense Industry. The Defense Business Panel was chaired by Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-09), with Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) as its ranking member.

The report is the culmination of six months of work examining the current defense business climate to identify and streamline contracting and regulatory issues facing the defense industry.  In completing its work, the Defense Business Panel met with or received testimony from more than 150 people representing government, industry, think tanks, and academia from around the country.  The Panel traveled to Moline in early October 2011 and met near the Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons and manufacturing arsenal in the United States.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve on this panel, and my thanks goes to Chairman McKeon, Congressman Schuster, and Congressman Larsen for recognizing the vital role the Rock Island Arsenal plays in our country’s defense strategy,” Schilling said.  “Having a strong defense industrial base is an important part of our economy and our national security.  I am hopeful that this Panel’s conversation will go on, and that we continue to work closely with folks in the defense contracting community to stay in tune with what works, what doesn’t, and what we can change to make the defense acquisition process easier for smaller contractors to navigate.”

The report includes several key recommendations, including:

  • Requiring the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Service Secretaries, to develop a long-term strategy for maintaining a robust and effective defense industrial base.
  • Requiring the Secretary of Defense to develop policies and mechanisms to improve communication with industry to better enable industry to allocate independent R&D resources and make investments to meet the future needs of the Department.
  • Ensuring that work being reserved for small business performance is actually performed by small businesses.
  • Continuing to rebuild the breadth and depth of the defense acquisition workforce which will, in all likelihood, save money and improve acquisition outcomes.
  • Simplifying and streamlining the acquisition process by conducting a comprehensive review of the laws and regulations that govern the acquisition process in order to repeal or amend regulations that are outdated or have had unintended consequences that outweigh the original intent of the regulation.

In addition, the House Small Business Committee today approved the Building Better Business Partnerships Act, H.R. 3985, introduced by Schilling and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32).  Schilling’s legislation, which was introduced in early February as part of the Committee’s contracting reform initiative, would streamline the process for small businesses to participate in mentor-protégé programs, which pair new businesses looking to increase their government contracts with more experienced businesses.  The bill will help all small businesses to more easily and more effectively contract with the federal government, enabling them to grow, create jobs, and get Americans back to work.

Schilling said “I’ve owned my own small pizzeria for more than 15 years, and understand how difficult and limiting some federal programs can be for small business owners to navigate and access.  Contracting with the federal government is no different.

“I’ve heard from numerous job creators in my district about how valuable winning and retaining federal contracts are to growing their business and how the end result affects the men and women they employ.  With unemployment over nine percent in Illinois, every initiative we can take to help businesses of all sizes grow, create jobs, and get folks back to work matters.

“I’m pleased this bill was approved by the Small Business Committee with unanimous bipartisan support, and am hopeful it gets through Congress and to the President for signature along with the rest of the Committee’s contracting reform initiative to help level the playing field for small businesses in contracting."

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