Business & Economy
Statement From Governor Quinn on Federal Agreement To Extend Unemployment Benefits PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:28

CHICAGO – December 22, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement praising a deal reached by Congress to extend unemployment benefits.


”I would like to commend Congress for reaching an agreement to extend unemployment benefits.  This will ensure that individuals who are looking for work will continue to receive the benefits they need.


”I thank President Obama for his strong leadership to reach a bi-partisan agreement that has put working families of the United States, and working families here in Illinois first.  I urge members of the House to pass this bill swiftly.”


Braley Statement on Middle Class Tax Cut Extension Developments PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:25

Waterloo, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after news reports indicated that House Republicans were on the verge of agreeing to vote on a bipartisan compromise to extend the middle class payroll tax cut for two months:

“Finally, some common sense seems to be breaking through the partisan games dominating Washington.  Extending the middle class tax cut is vital to our economic recovery and creating jobs.  Today’s developments hopefully mean that middle class families can breathe easier knowing their taxes won’t go up by $1,000 on January 1st.


“This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue – it’s just good for Iowa.  That’s why I broke with my party last week to support the Republican plan to extend the tax cut.  It’s why I supported the bipartisan Senate plan to extend the tax cut earlier this week.


“The sooner the House can vote on a middle class tax cut extension, the better.  I’m ready and able to come to Washington to vote for the middle class tax cut extension again.  I’m glad my third vote for this tax cut will be the charm.”


# # #

News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ryan Burchett   
Friday, 23 December 2011 16:15

LeClaire, IA, December 21, 2011 – The homegrown allure of locally made spirits has caught the attention of a national news anchor.  John Roberts, Senior National Correspondent for FOX News and former anchor and reporter for CNN and CBS News, toured Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire while visiting family in the area over the weekend.  He was so enamored with the distillery and tour that he decided to tell the story to the world.

Roberts penned a “Food & Drink” feature article for  “When you walk into the tasting room, with its expansive view of the Mississippi River, you’re hooked.” he wrote.  Roberts contacted distillers Ryan and Garrett Burchett on Tuesday to ask a few questions for the story.

“What was really cool about talking with John is that he sincerely enjoyed his time at the distillery.  It’s always fun to hear different impressions from tourists about what we’re doing here.  It’s a real thrill to have someone who has seen the world tell us he gets a kick out of what we’re doing here and enjoys our products.” said Ryan.

Garrett gave the tour to John and his family.  As mentioned in the story, John was worried that he asked too many questions.  “We get a lot of questions on every tour.  So I never thought twice about it.” said Garrett. “But I guess it’s not every day that you’re questioned by a national news correspondent.”

The brothers told John that if he makes it back to Iowa for the January Caucuses, they’d love to have him back to check on the progress of the next batch of Cody Road Bourbon Whiskey.  The whiskey was sold out while John was on his visit.

You can read John’s entire article online at:

Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free public tours are offered daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process and ends in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples for patrons over 21 years old.  The distillery will be closed December 25 and 26 as well as January 1 for the holidays.


Braley Statement on House Vote on Middle Class Tax Cut PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 23 December 2011 16:03

House fails to pass 2-month compromise extension of payroll tax cut 


Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the House rejected a bipartisan agreement to extend the middle class payroll tax cut:

“Extending the middle class tax cut that keeps $1,000 in the pocket of the average Iowa family is good for the economy and good for our country.


“Playing politics over this issue does nothing other than put families at risk of seeing their taxes go up on January 1st.


“That’s why I supported the Republican plan to extend the middle class tax cut last week.  And it’s why I just voted with 89 out of 100 Senators, including Senators Harkin and Grassley, on a bipartisan compromise to extend the middle class tax cut.  This issue shouldn’t be about Republicans or Democrats.  It’s good for Iowa.  And Iowans need Congress to come together and finish the job.”


Braley has voted in support of a middle class tax cut extension every time the issue has come up in the House for a vote.

# # #

News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 23 December 2011 15:49

Defense Contractor Salary Cap Included in Defense Authorization Bill Awaiting President Obama’s Signature

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) today called on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to immediately implement a new benchmark for taxpayer-funded salaries for defense contractors, especially in light of the National Defense Authorization Act’s new provision that will ensure that all defense contractor employees are subject to the same limit on taxpayer-funded salaries.

Currently government contractors can charge taxpayers $693,951 for the salaries of their top five employees, based on an executive compensation benchmark last amended in 1998. Employees of government contractors outside of the top five can and do earn taxpayer-funded amounts in excess of the current benchmark.

The Administration has already told lawmakers that it considers the current cap on taxpayer-funded salaries for contractors to be “unreasonably high.” But the Administration has not yet released its salary benchmark for 2011, even as 2012 quickly approaches.

In their letter, the legislators urged OMB to implement the National Defense Authorization Act’s new rules quickly and provide lawmakers with regular updates on its progress in addressing this important issue.  The National Defense Authorization Act was enacted earlier this month.

The text of the letter follows:


December 19, 2011

The Honorable Jacob J. Lew

Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503


Dear Director Lew:

We write to follow up on a letter we sent in September 2011 regarding the executive compensation benchmark for government contractors.  As we are now only days away from the start of 2012, we note that you have still not announced the new benchmark for 2011.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) includes an important provision that extends the benchmark to all employees of defense contractors, with narrowly targeted exceptions for scientists and engineers.  While we were disappointed that the final conference language did not include the exact language of the Boxer-Grassley amendment to align the benchmark with the salary of the President of the United States, we are encouraged that real savings will result from applying the benchmark to all defense contractor employees.

As you noted in your response to our previous letter, increases in the compensation benchmark are “forcing our taxpayers to cover levels of compensation that we in the Administration view as unreasonably high.”  We could not agree more with your statement - which is why we are requesting that OMB implement this law as soon as possible.

Section 803 of the NDAA requires that regulations to enforce this provision be implemented within 180 days of enactment of the law.  To ensure that new regulations are published in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) no later than July 2012, we request that you provide us, in writing, with regular updates on the FAR Council’s progress in complying with the law.

We believe that taxpayers should not be on the hook for exorbitant contractor salaries, and we look forward to your prompt response.



Barbara Boxer

United States Senator


Chuck Grassley

United States Senator


Paul D. Tonko

United States Representative




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