Business & Economy
Harkin Welcomes Largest Job Growth in Four Years; Says Government Action is Spurring Growth PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 10 May 2010 13:37

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement on news that the economy had added 290,000 jobs in April, the largest job growth in four years.  Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Labor Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Today’s employment report is welcome news across all sectors of our economy – not only is our economy adding jobs in manufacturing, construction and health care, but Americans are starting to feel more confident in this economic growth.  In recent months we saw real signs of improvement, but with this best month of progress, Americans should start to feel that we are on more solid economic ground.

“This growth is due largely to actions taken by the Federal government.  The Recovery Act continues to send much-needed dollars to states, without which we would have seen an even deeper recession.   Unfortunately, there are still dangers ahead for those still looking for work, so additional efforts to move the country forward are needed. 

“In particular, Congress must pass an extension of unemployment insurance through the end of the year so that families can access this critical safety net.  Unfortunately, Republicans have exploited every opportunity to delay and obstruct this important legislation.  In addition, we must take immediate action to prevent job losses among our nation’s educators – to protect the quality of education – and we need to pass additional job-creating legislation to assure that the economy is on solid footing.  I intend to continue to advocate for those efforts in this Congress."

Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley to Speak on Iowa’s Business Climate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sarah Mesick   
Monday, 10 May 2010 13:32
Senator David Hartsuch and Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley will be putting on a forum entitled “Transforming Iowa's Business Climate”.  The event will be held on Thursday the 13th at 5:30pm at Frank's Pizza in Bettendorf, near 53rd and 18th Streets. Senator Paul McKinley as a small-business owner from Chariton, Iowa, who has faced first-hand the challenges posed by Iowa's exploding bureaucracy.  Since his election to lead the Republican Senate Caucus in 2009, he is focused on growing Iowa businesses rather than growing government.  Senators Hartsuch and McKinley will share the Republican vision for business growth in Iowa.  Senator David Hartsuch has a 100% perfect voting record as scored by the National Federation of Independent Business and has been a champion for small-business owners in Iowa.  During this past session, Senator Hartsuch promoted legislation in order to ensure that more government contracts were awarded to Iowa owned businesses.  The event will be held on Thursday, May 13 at 5:30 PM it is open to the public.  For additional information call Iowans for Hartsuch at 563-823-8442.

TAG Communications Announces Name Change PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Susan Weber   
Monday, 10 May 2010 13:24

Davenport, IA – The Ad Group today announced that the company has changed its name to TAG Communications, Inc.

The change was made in response to the company’s growth in recent years, both in terms of the range of services offered and the geographic regions of clients served.

Mike Vondran, President and CEO, states that the new name doesn’t mark a dramatic change in direction for the company, but rather an acknowledgement that client needs and expectations have grown. “Our industry has gone through significant changes in recent years,” he notes. “The rise of fact-based marketing, increased understanding of brand dynamics and, of course, the e-media revolution; all demand a wider range of expertise. These changes call for a greater understanding of our clients’ overall business as well as a new set of tools. The name change reflects the steps we’ve taken to meet the resulting needs.”

In the past year, the company has added a level of senior management with broad experience, both in the region and with the range of industries served. A new healthcare marketing division was formed, both to acknowledge The Ad Group’s longstanding service to the healthcare industry and to address growing industry needs. New media management tools have been added and, more recently, the addition of an in-house Web Services department that incorporates social media and addresses the demand for integrated e-media in the marketing mix.

Vondran stresses that current clients figured heavily in the improvements made. “I’m proud to say that a number of clients have been with us since our founding in 1990,” he says. “You don’t keep a client relationship for 20 years by staying in one place. Our primary mission is to help them reach their goals and these changes are critical to staying true TAG Communications, Inc. is a full service marketing communications company headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.

Founded in 1990, the company serves consumer and business-to-business clients in local and regional markets nationwide. TAG also provides specialized marketing expertise through its TAG Healthcare, TAG Legal, TAG Yellow Pages, and TAG Automotive divisions.

Grassley Seeks to have Whistleblower Protections Extended for Credit Rating Agency Employees PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 10 May 2010 13:07
WASHINGTON –Chuck Grassley this week continued his efforts to protect those who stand up to blow the whistle on wrong doing, even when it’s unpopular, for fear of retaliation.

Grassley and Senator Ben Cardin filed an amendment to the banking bill that would make the employees of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations – such as Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings – eligible for protection under whistleblower protections signed into law in the Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency Act of 2002.

“People who know of wrong doing should feel comfortable to come forward without fear of retaliation,” Grassley said.  “Providing whistleblower protection to credit rating agency employees is another way to shore up public trust in our financial system and help prevent history from repeating itself by ensuring those who know of problems feel free to speak up.”

Grassley secured the provisions in the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law after the fall out of several Enron-like scandals led to a crack down on corporate fraud and abuse.  The provisions made federal whistleblower protections available to employees of publicly traded companies for the first time ever.


With Harkin’s Support, Financial Reform Amendment Passes to Level the Playing Field for Community Banks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 10 May 2010 13:04
Measure ensures Iowa’s community banks are not required to cover Wall Street’s risky bets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) applauded this morning’s passage of an amendment he cosponsored with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)  and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) that changes the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) charges banks for deposit insurance to ensure that banks are assessed at a level commensurate with their risk.  The amendment, which passed 98 to 0, will be included in the financial reform bill.

“As we take up legislation to hold Wall Street accountable, it is crucial that we avoid placing an undue burden on Iowa’s community banks,” said Harkin. “This amendment will help ensure that Iowa’s community banks can compete on a level playing field with the largest banks who engage in the most hazardous behavior.  It also provides community banks with additional capital they can loan to Iowa’s communities, which will give our local economies a boost.”

Under current law, the FDIC charges banks a fee related to their percentage of domestic deposits to cover the cost of winding down a failed bank.  But by only using deposits to calculate the assessment, FDIC assessments neglect the non-deposit assets used by the very large banks to fund the riskiest types of activities that the larger banks engage in that could cause a bank to fail.  The existing system discriminates against community banks, which typically engage in low-risk lending in their local communities, rather than riskier trading carried out by larger banks, which is not calculated in FDIC deposit insurance.  As a result, community banks that serve Main Street across the country pay 30 percent of all FDIC premiums even though they only hold 20 percent of the nation’s banking assets.

To change this system, the amendment requires the FDIC to base these fees on the amount of a banks’ total assets, not just deposits. This change ensures that FDIC assessments reflect the risks that the largest banks that are engaged in the riskiest activities pose to the Deposit Insurance Fund.  Harkin’s history of work in this field goes back to 2009, when the FDIC issued a special assessment and Harkin successfully wrote to the FDIC urging that it be based on the formula established in this amendment.


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