Civic News & Info
Grassley to meet with Eastern Iowans the week of Memorial Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:34

WASHINGTON – During an upcoming Senate break, Senator Chuck Grassley will meet with Iowans in Victor, Clinton, Muscatine, West Branch, Eldridge and Maquoketa.

Grassley will speak at the Memorial Day service hosted by the Victor American Legion on Monday, May 28.

On Tuesday, he will tour LyondellBasell and meet with employees in Clinton, address the Muscatine Kiwanis luncheon, tour Acciona Windpower and meet with employees in West Branch, and hold town meetings for residents of Scott and Jackson counties.

“Representative government is a two-way street and depends on dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent,” Grassley said.  “I look forward to the events and meetings planned later this month to listen to comments and respond to questions.  I like to have town meetings, and I also appreciate the opportunity to go to workplaces to talk with people who couldn’t otherwise get to a town meeting.”

Grassley has held at least one meeting with Iowans in every one of the state’s 99 counties since 1980, when he was first elected to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Below is more information about the schedule.  Grassley will be available to answer questions from reporters immediately following each event.

 

Monday, May 28

10 a.m.

Speak at the Memorial Day Service hosted by the Victor American Legion

601 3rd Street in Victor

 

Tuesday, May 29

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Tour LyondellBasell and Q&A with employees*

3400 Anamosa Road in Clinton

*the Q&A will be in the Employee Recreation Center accessible by the first entrance to the site, and this is where Grassley will be available to reporters following the event

 

12 noon-1 p.m.

Q&A at the Muscatine Kiwanis Club Luncheon

Button Factory Woodfire Grill

215 West Mississippi Drive in Muscatine

 

2-3 p.m.

Tour Acciona Windpower and Q&A with employees

Acciona Windpower North America

601 Fawcett Drive in West Branch

 

4-5 p.m.

Scott County Town Meeting

Eldridge Community Center

400 South 16th Avenue in Eldridge

 

6-7 p.m.

Jackson County Town Meeting

Hurstville Interpretive Center, Community Room

18670 63rd Street in Maquoketa

 

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First Amendment Award nominations due June 22 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Abby Henkel   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:18
The award is presented to honor a person or persons who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. An individual, group of individuals or organization will be awarded $10,000 cash and an engraved crystal to honor those committed to the same goals and as a tribute to the professional contributions Pulliam made to journalism.
For more information, including nomination requirements and information about the 2012 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award, click here.
Applications are due June 22.
For questions, please contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Braley Statement on Postal Service Abandoning Plan to Close Post Offices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:11

UPDATE:

We just received additional information from the US Postal Service detailing some of the proposed changes to postal operations in the current First Congressional District of Iowa.

In short, the Postal Service is proposing to keep open post offices that were previously at risk for closure.  Instead, the Postal Service is proposing to limit the hours of operation at a number of post offices.  View a detailed breakdown of the proposal – including the specific post offices affected (in the First District of Iowa only) – at the following link:

http://go.usa.gov/VvP

At 3pm CDT, the Postal Service will release a nationwide list of the proposed changes at the following link:

http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm#

 

Announcement is “a major victory for rural Iowans”

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after the US Postal Service announced that it was abandoning its plan to close thousands of post offices across the county and will instead reduce service hours at as many as a tiird of all post offices:

“This announcement is a major victory for rural Iowans who depend on their post offices to do business and connect with the world.  Post offices are a vital part of the rural Iowa economy, and we’ve worked for months to protect small town post offices from closure.  I’m glad that the Postal Service has heeded our call and will keep our post offices open.

“However, I am concerned about how severe the service cutbacks will be under the new proposal.  I’m going to closely evaluate its effect on post offices in Iowa.”

The Postal Service has faced severe budget shortfalls and has weighed closing thousands of post offices across the United States for the past year.  In December 2011, bowing to public pressure, the US Postal Service announced a moratorium on all post office closures until May 15th, 2012.

The announcement likely means that 234 post offices in Iowa “under review” for closure will remain open.  In Iowa’s First Congressional District, 22 post offices “under review” for closure will likely remain open.

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Schilling, Loebsack Announce Sec. LaHood's Visit to the I-74 Bridge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:48
Washington, DC - Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) today announced that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has accepted their April 26 invitation to visit the Quad Cities’ structurally-deficient I-74 Bridge, and is going to be joining them there the afternoon of Friday, May 11.  

“We are happy to welcome Secretary LaHood to the Quad Cities, so he can see firsthand the important part the I-74 bridge plays in the local community, region and states,” said Congressmen Schilling and Loebsack.  “The bridge has never met Interstate standards, but with 77,800 vehicles crossing daily, its replacement is truly needed.  The I-74 Bridge project will not only spur economic growth, create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups and aid in commerce, but would– most importantly – improve safety for Americans traveling between Iowa and Illinois.”

“The I-74 bridge is an important reminder that there are big transportation projects that need our attention across the country,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “We can’t afford to keep kicking the can down the road with extensions.  We need Congress to pass a long-term, bipartisan transportation bill, so states and cities have the funding and the certainty they need to tackle big efforts like this.”

Sec. LaHood, Schilling, and Loebsack will be viewing the I-74 Bridge at 2:00pm CST on Friday May 11 at 12th Street East of Leach Park.  Also expected to join them are Moline Mayor Don Welvaert and Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher.  Friday afternoon’s Bridge viewing is open to press.

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Schilling Outlines Long-Term Transportation Priorities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:32

Washington, DC — Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today sent a letter to the Members of Congress responsible for resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of legislation reauthorizing our nation’s critical transportation and infrastructure programs.   In the letter, Schilling notes the programs that support the priorities of the 17th Congressional District of Illinois’ residents.  

"Our country as a whole is in need of a long, multi-year surface transportation authorization bill," Schilling wrote. "This long-term certainty will allow our state departments of transportation to truly address our infrastructure needs and not push them off down the road until it is too late and too expensive.  Our country is closing in on $16 trillion in debt – totaling more than $50,000 per American.  We must invest wisely, while also coming to grips with our fiscal situation.  I would like to share with you some priorities from the people I have the privilege of representing.

In today’s letter, Schilling outlines his support a number of items, including:

  • Projects of National and Regional Significance:  “Projects that fall in this category are high in cost and large in scope and for that reason federal support is necessary for them to go forward.  These projects affect localities directly through economic development and more jobs."
  • Maintaining existing passenger rail:  “Rail allows people and products to travel to and from all over the country, and from there to ports across the world.  While we must be careful to separate needs from wants, growth in our economy and long-term sustainability must always weigh heavily when making decisions on infrastructure priorities."
  • The job-creating Keystone XL Pipeline:  “This pipeline and other projects like it can help ease global energy strains due to our reliance on oil from foreign countries.  ... This is a project that has the support of Republicans, Democrats, labor and business."

"Conventional wisdom is that Congress cannot get anything done, but in the spirit of Mark Twain, I believe that reports on the death of bipartisanship have been greatly exaggerated," Schilling concluded. "After all, it was this Congress that advanced three market-opening trade agreements, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes jobs bill for veterans, passed the STOCK Act, passed a Defense Authorization that will benefit manufacturing and our industrial base, and passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups legislation.  These are all now the law of the land and were accomplished through bipartisanship.  Perhaps one of the best examples is the four-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.  It took five years and 23 short-term extensions, but this Congress finally got the job done.  It should be the goal of this Congress to achieve similar success this year with a multi-year transportation bill."

The full text of Schilling’s letter can be found below.  

- - - - -
May 8, 2012

Dear Chairman Mica, Chairman Boxer, and Conferees,

Our country as a whole is in need of a long, multi-year surface transportation authorization bill.  This long-term certainty will allow our state departments of transportation to truly address our infrastructure needs and not push them off down the road until it is too late and too expensive.  Our country is closing in on $16 trillion in debt – totaling more than $50,000 per American.  We must invest wisely, while also coming to grips with our fiscal situation.  I would like to share with you some priorities from the people I have the privilege of representing.

When the near-trillion dollar stimulus was signed into law in 2009, many citizens wondered why Congress was not focused on a true job-creating measure like a long-term highway plan.  The fact that such a small percentage of the stimulus plan was devoted to transportation and infrastructure represents an unfortunate missed opportunity, especially at a time when our infrastructure is rated as ”D” by the American Society of Civil Engineers and construction unemployment in the industry is 14.5 percent.  The time to focus on a long-term transportation bill is now.

The certainty that a long-term bill will would provide would allow programs like the Projects of National and Regional Significance to help build much-needed infrastructure in our country.  Projects that fall in this category are high in cost and large in scope and for that reason federal support is necessary for them to go forward.  These projects affect localities directly through economic development and more jobs.  I encourage you to continue to support the Projects of National and Regional Significance program within the surface transportation authorization bill you are currently conferencing.  Projects that do not reach the threshold of National and Regional Significance, such as highway expansions and overpasses, can bring in a great amount of economic development as well.  We must continue to support programs and grants that would allow these projects to go forward so they are not politicized.

Another important issue for Illinois is our rail system.  We are at a crossroads for this mode of transportation, and it is vital that we take care of that infrastructure so that existing lines which contribute to both commuter mobility and freight shipments are not shortchanged.  Rail allows people and products to travel to and from all over the country, and from there to ports across the world.  While we must be careful to separate needs from wants, growth in our economy and long-term sustainability must always weigh heavily when making decisions on infrastructure priorities.

I also encourage you to include provisions that would address the job-creating Keystone Pipeline.  This pipeline and other projects like it can help ease global energy strains due to our reliance on oil from foreign countries.  Pipelines are the energy lifelines of our country and will not only address access to oil, but will also encourage job growth and therefore growth in our economy.  This is a project that has the support of Republicans, Democrats, labor and business.

Another important issue that we must not overlook is our locks and dams.  These vital pieces of our infrastructure need to have dedicated work and funding.  After all, this infrastructure is vital to both commerce and jobs.  More than 30,000 workers are employed on vessels and an additional 800,000 jobs are dependent on our waterways.  That is why I support the continued inclusion of the RAMP Act, H.R. 104, in the final Surface Transportation bill.  This would guarantee that the total amount available for spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be equal to the Trust Fund receipts as estimated by the President’s budget for that year.  This is important to addressing our nation’s dredging requirements and keeps our ports and waterways at a competitive advantage with the rest of the world’s waterways.  

I also support the inclusion of the bipartisan, House-passed H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, into a final transportation package.  There are many types of projects across this great country that require the use of concrete, and proposed regulations on coal ash can be detrimental to getting our economy back on track and our infrastructure back up to the appropriate safety standards.  This is symptomatic of large issues of overregulation that place unnecessary hindrances on meeting our infrastructure needs.  

Finally, I encourage you to carefully consider the need for farmers to transport all farm supplies from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or end consumer.  The restriction to a single farm supply excludes multiple other critical farm supplies and severely hinders the flexibility of farmers during planting and harvesting season.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted several wavers over the last two years because it has recognized the need to exempt these supplies.  Please consider making this exemption of agriculture hours of service permanent.  

Conventional wisdom is that Congress cannot get anything done, but in the spirit of Mark Twain, I believe that reports on the death of bipartisanship have been greatly exaggerated.  After all, it was this Congress that advanced three market-opening trade agreements, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes jobs bill for veterans, passed the STOCK Act, passed a Defense Authorization that will benefit manufacturing and our industrial base, and passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups legislation.  These are all now the law of the land and were accomplished through bipartisanship.  Perhaps one of the best examples is the four-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.  It took five years and 23 short-term extensions, but this Congress finally got the job done.  It should be the goal of this Congress to achieve similar success this year with a multi-year transportation bill.

I appreciate your time and consideration of my concerns and the priorities of the 17th District of Illinois.

Sincerely,
Bobby Schilling
House of Representatives

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