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Treasury nominees on hold over IRS whistleblower office PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:35

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grassley Objects to Two Treasury Nominees over IRS Whistleblower Office Concerns

WASHINGTON – As promised, Sen. Chuck Grassley is formally objecting to Senate consideration of two Treasury nominees until the Treasury and IRS provide responses to his latest letter on the IRS whistleblower office.  The nominees are Mark J. Mazur, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and Matthew S. Rutherford to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

“The IRS could and should be doing a lot more to stop big-dollar tax cheats,” Grassley said.  “Progress on the whistleblower office is critical for tax compliance.”

Grassley wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman on June 21, the latest in a series of letters to explore the reasons for slow-going on whistleblower case processing and pay-outs.  While Treasury and IRS have provided information in meetings among staff, Grassley intends to object to Senate consideration of the nominees until he receives written responses to his June 21 letter.

Grassley’s notice of intention to object from the Congressional Record follows here.  The text of his June 21 letter is available here.  A press release describing Grassley’s history on the issue is available here.

INTENTION TO OBJECT -- (Senate - June 27, 2012)

[Page: S4668]

Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I intend to object to proceeding to the nominations of Mark J. Mazur, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Matthew S. Rutherford to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

My support for the final confirmation of these nominees will depend on both Treasury and Internal Revenue Service responses to questions I have posed regarding their implementation of the tax whistleblower program. I rewrote the statute in 2006 to encourage whistleblowing on big-dollar tax cheats. However, nearly six years since those changes were enacted, Treasury has yet to issue much needed regulations and IRS has paid less than a half dozen awards under the new program.

I have sent several letters to Secretary Geithner and Commissioner Shulman to get to the bottom of this. Our staffs have been meeting, including most recently on June 26, 2012. I understand that Secretary Geithner and Commissioner Shulman intend to provide written responses to my questions. Until I receive those responses, I will object to proceeding with the nominations of Mr. Rutherford and Dr. Mazur.

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TONIGHT - LIVE STREAM - GEN. JERRY BOYKIN - USA & ISRAEL PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by The United West   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:00
LIVE STREAM - TONIGHT - 7pm (edt)
Gen. Jerry Boykin
The USA & ISRAEL
"The Ties That Bind"
LTG Jerry Boykin (ret.)
Do not miss General Boykin detail the importance of our relationship with Israel in these dangerous days!
≈≈≈
  • 36 years in the Army
  • Original member of the US Army's Delta Force.
  • Commanded all the Army's Green Berets
  • Special Warfare Center and School
  • Served a tour with the CIA
  • Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq
  • Teaches at Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia).
  • Black Hawk Down in 1993
  • Books include Never Surrender:
A Soldier's Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom
  • Team leader for Team BII Report, Shariah - The Threat to America
  • Expert on defense policy, terrorism and the US-Israel relationship.
≈≈≈
APPEARING WITH GEN BOYKIN
RABBI JON HAUSMAN
Ahavath Torah Congregation
Stoughton, MA 02072
TOM TRENTO
The United West
≈≈≈
TONIGHT
WEDNESDAY JULY 11, 7pm (edt)
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LIVE STREAMING

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Governor Quinn Announces Start of LIHEAP Summer Cooling Program PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:36

Assistance Available to Help Low-Income Residents Pay Electric Bills

CHICAGO – July 10, 2012. In an effort to provide relief to residents facing high energy bills in the wake of the recent heat wave, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that applications will be accepted for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning July 11. Through LIHEAP, utility bill payments are made on behalf of households with incomes of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

“Temperatures have already reached dangerous levels across the state, and keeping people safe during the heat is my priority,” Governor Quinn said. “We must do everything we can to ensure Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens can remain healthy, safe and cool this summer.”

The LIHEAP summer cooling program will run from July 11 through July 27, or until funds are exhausted. A total of $10 million in federal funding is available for the program. Households that are responsible for their own electric bills will be eligible only under the following criteria: household income over the last 30 days does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty standard threshold; and the household includes a person at least 60 years of age, a child under 60 months of age, and a person with a disability or an individual with a documented medical condition aggravated by excessive heat. In addition, current customers under the electric Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) are ineligible for cooling assistance.

“Through the LIHEAP program, we have helped more than 378,000 Illinois families to live more comfortably and safely in their homes, while helping reduce burdensome energy bills for those who need it most,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director David Vaught.

People can apply for LIHEAP assistance by visiting their local administrating agency, but are encouraged to call ahead, as long lines should be expected. A complete listing of LIHEAP's local administrating agencies and additional information about the program are available at www.liheapillinois.com, or by calling the toll-free “Keep Cool Illinois” hotline at 877-411-9276 between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Seniors are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat. With temperatures remaining high, Governor Quinn urged seniors and families with small children to take special measures to stay safe. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) advises residents to stay hydrated; avoid going outdoors during extreme heat; avoid or minimize physical exertion; keep window shades drawn; wear loose cotton clothing; and avoid eating heavy meals and cooking with ovens. People taking medications should check with their pharmacist or doctor to find out about any heat-related side effects.

Governor Quinn also urged Illinoisans to take advantage of more than 120 state facilities that serve as cooling centers. The cooling centers provide a place to stay cool and comfortable during the scorching hot days of summer. The centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices throughout the state and the seven Illinois Tollway Oases in Northern Illinois. They will be open to the public during regular business hours.

More information on the state’s cooling centers is available by calling the IDHS toll-free hotline (800-843-6154), or search by zip code for the nearest cooling center at www.keepcool.illinois.gov.

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Braley Statement on CFTC Complaint against Peregrine Financial Group PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:13

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced it had filed a complaint against Peregrine Financial Group of Cedar Falls:

“Like many residents of the Cedar Valley, I was shocked at the seriousness of the allegations levied against Peregrine Financial Group today.  My immediate concern is with the Iowa farmers and grain elevators who may be victims of Peregrine’s alleged fraud.  I’m also deeply concerned about the impact of this situation on the employees of Peregrine and the entire Cedar Valley community.  In the days and weeks to come, I’ll be closely monitoring the actions of the CFTC and the FBI investigation of Peregrine.”

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Loebsack Welcomes Governor Branstad’s Upcoming Testimony Before Armed Services Committee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 11:55

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed the announcement that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will participate in a House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing on Thursday, July 12th. 

The hearing will focus on the Air Force’s proposed reductions and Governor Branstad is expected to discuss the importance of keeping the 132nd Fighter Wing based in Des Moines.  As the only Member of Congress from Iowa on the House Armed Services Committee, Loebsack successfully included a bipartisan amendment in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent the retirement of the F-16s. Loebsack is a member of the Readiness Subcommittee and will participate in the hearing.

“I was proud to work in a bipartisan fashion to prevent cuts to Air National Guard personnel and the retirement or transfer of Air National Guard aircraft, including the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines.  Now, I am pleased folks in Washington will have a chance to hear directly from Governor Branstad about the importance of the National Guard to our homeland and national security.  The men and women of the 132nd Fighter Wing have proven time and again they are some of the most cost effective and experienced in the National Guard.  Iowans are proud of the 132nd's work and the more people know about their service, the more impressed they will be.

“I welcome the Governor’s testimony and look forward to continue to work on a bipartisan basis to ensure our dedicated Airmen do not see their positions eliminated.”

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