General Info
Hearing for Assistant Attorney General for Tax Nominee, Judicial Nominee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:19
Statement of Ranking Member Chuck Grassley

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Nominations Hearing for Kathryn Keneally, to be an Assistant Attorney General, and Brian C. Wimes, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For video of the hearing, please click here.

I join you in welcoming the nominees before us today.   Today we will first hear from Kathryn Keneally, nominated to be Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice.  I am pleased that Chairman Leahy and I were able to reach agreement on the timing and format for her hearing today.  I express my appreciation to the Chairman for the way we are proceeding on this nomination.

If confirmed, Ms. Keneally will head the Tax Division of the department. The Tax Division’s mission is to enforce the nation’s tax laws fully, fairly, and consistently, through both criminal and civil litigation.  It has a duty to ensure compliance with the tax laws, maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system, and promote the sound development of the law.

The Assistant Attorney General for Tax is an important and unique position.  In order to be effective, this person must have a strong command of the tax laws and maintain a strong working relationship with the Internal Revenue Service.  Given the severe debt and deficit situation facing our country, it is imperative that the IRS collect every dollar of tax that is owed to the government. I have always said that taxpayers should pay what they owe – not a penny more, not a penny less.  The Assistant Attorney General for Tax plays an important role in helping the IRS collect these taxes.

It is disappointing that we have not been able to get a qualified candidate into this position for three years.  The first nominee for this position, while qualified for any number of other legal positions, had no tax experience and was wholly unqualified for this position.  After her nomination was withdrawn in August of 2010, it took over a year for the President to submit Ms. Keneally’s nomination.  In contrast to the first nominee, Ms. Keneally has significant tax experience and will hopefully be a valuable addition to the Department of Justice. I was pleased to meet with Ms. Keneally yesterday.  We had a good visit and I look forward to her testimony today.

In addition, we will be considering the nomination of Brian C. Wimes, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.

I would note that we are making real progress with regard to the nominations of President Obama to the federal judiciary.   Today marks the 18th nominations hearing held in this committee this year, and we will have heard from 70 judicial nominees.  All in all, nearly 89 percent of President Obama’s judicial nominees have received a hearing.

The Senate has confirmed twenty Article III judicial nominees during the past month and a half.  We have now confirmed 58 judicial nominees in this Congress alone.  With the confirmation of two judges yesterday, over 70 percent of President Obama’s nominees have been confirmed.

Kathryn Keneally is nominated to be Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice.  After obtaining her J.D. from Fordham University in 1982, Ms. Keneally served as a law clerk for Judge Edward R. Neaher of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  She then worked as an associate attorney at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom from 1983 – 1985.  Her practice there consisted of complex commercial litigation and pro bono criminal defense matter. In 1985, she became an associate at Kostelanetz & Ritholz and was made a partner in 1990.  At this firm her practice included criminal tax defense, other white collar criminal defense, and tax controversy, as well as complex commercial litigation matters involving fraud, civil RICO, securities, and similar issues.

In 2000, she became a member in the firm of Owen & Davis where she primarily handled commercial litigation, as well as tax controversy and criminal tax defense.  In 2002, she joined Fulbright & Jaworski, LLC., where she is a partner.  She initially practiced commercial, tax controversy and criminal tax defense, but since 2004 has primarily handled only tax controversy and criminal tax defense.

Brian C. Wimes is nominated to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.  Upon graduation from law school in 1994, Judge Wimes became an Attorney Advisor in the Litigation Branch of Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C.  Judge Wimes represented the bureau in civil actions by inmates throughout the country.

In 1995, Judge Wimes left the bureau and became an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in Kansas City, Missouri until 2001.  During his time there, Judge Wimes specialized in drug prosecutions.  Additionally, as Coordinator for the Drug Abatement Response Team, he supervised a staff that was focused on closing drug houses in the Jackson County area.  In 1999, Judge Wimes became the Senior Trial Attorney for the Drug Unit, prosecuting cases involving major crimes with an emphasis on drug-related homicides.

In 2001, Judge Wimes became the Drug Court Commissioner for the Court for Jackson County, Missouri.  He was appointed for two, four year terms.  Judge Wimes presided over 400 assigned cases to Drug Court, with a caseload of 120 to 150 docketed cases per week.

After serving as the Drug Court Commissioner for Jackson, Judge Wimes was appointed by then-Governor Matt Blunt to serve as the Circuit Court Judge for the 16th Judicial District, Jackson County, Missouri.  He was appointed in 2007, and was retained in the 2008 election cycle.

As a Circuit Court Judge, Judge Wimes has presided over approximately twenty-nine criminal trials that have gone to judgment and twenty-five civil trials that have done the same. From 2008 to 2009, Judge Wimes was assigned to the Family Court Division and heard over 500 domestic cases to judgment as well.

Again, I welcome the nominees, their family members and guests.  I look forward to the testimony.

-30-

 
Herbert Hoover NHS Invites You to Celebrate “A Christmas Past” Weekend in West Branch, Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Adam Prato   
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:00
WEST BRANCH, IOWA— West Branch, Iowa, the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, will host “A Christmas Past” events from Friday, December 2 until Sunday, December 4. The festivities officially begin with the lighting of the tree in the Village Green at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2.  The University of Iowa’s Collegium Tubum will be playing holiday carols on their tubas during this ceremony. Main Street West Branch will feature brick fireplaces for roasting marshmallows, fresh-cooked doughnuts, and photos with Santa. Downtown shops will be open for business Friday and Saturday evenings, and the local churches will have a cookie walk, Christmas candy sale, and a soup supper. For more information call Main Street West Branch at (319) 643-7100 or visit www.mainstreetwestbranch.org for a complete schedule of events.

Horse-drawn wagon rides on Friday and Saturday evenings start at 5:30 p.m. from the Visitor Center of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The rides take visitors through the historic site and historic downtown West Branch. The last wagon rides begin at 8:00 p.m. The Visitor Center, Herbert Hoover Birthplace Cottage, and Blacksmith Shop will be open to visitors on Friday and Saturday nights until 9:00 p.m. From 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. items in the Visitor Center bookstore will on sale for 15 percent off. Park rangers and volunteers will lead craft activities at the Visitor Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Activities include card-making for soldiers overseas as part of “Operation Gratitude” in partnership with the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.  A park ranger will demonstrate the art and craft of blacksmithing in the Blacksmith Shop on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

A traditional Quaker open worship will be held at the Friends Meetinghouse at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2011. The historic meetinghouse where the Hoover family worshipped was built in 1857 and is one of several buildings preserved by the National Park Service as part of the park commemorating Herbert Hoover. Visitors are welcome to attend the worship meeting, which is similar to meetings young Herbert Hoover attended with his family. All activities at the historic site are free. For more information call Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at (319) 643-2541 or visit www.nps.gov/heho.

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum displays Christmas trees in its annual holiday exhibit. This year’s holiday exhibit is “A Fairy Tale Christmas” featuring twenty trees each decorated to represent a different fairy tale. Special museum hours for “A Christmas Past” weekend are Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free admission begins Friday at 5:00 p.m. and continues throughout the weekend. Free weekend performances at the Presidential Library and Museum
include stage presentations by The Young Footliters, Christmas carols by the Uncalled Four quartet and the West Branch Community Chorus, and a readers’ theater performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. The annual Holiday Open House is Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with Santa Claus and free holiday refreshments served. For more information call the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum at (319) 643-5301 or visit www.hoover.archives.gov.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space.

 
Herbert Hoover NHS Now Accepting Applications for 2012 Artist-in-Residence Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Adam Prato   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:58
WEST BRANCH, IOWA— Herbert Hoover National Historic Site seeks writers, composers, and visual and performing artists for the park’s 2012 Artist-in-Residence Program. The Artist-in-Residence Program is open to all professional American artists whose work can be inspired by the history and beauty of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The park offers two residencies of two to eight weeks each from April through September. For more information about the Artist-in-Residence Program and how to apply, contact Kristin Gibbs at (319) 643-7866 or visit the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/heho/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm.  The application period closes on Friday, February 24, 2012.

The Artist-in-Residence Program at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site promotes creative means of communicating the park's national significance and its relevance to park visitors. Artists have been part of national parks since the 1870s when famed painters played a vital role in documenting the majestic landscapes of the West. It was through their works of art that many first saw these special places in America. Today artists are working in more than 40 units of the National Park Service through Artist-in-Residence Programs. Works from past Artists-in-Residence at Herbert Hoover NHS are on display in the park’s visitor center.

The 2011 Artist-in-Residence Program at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site featured two writers, Dr. Gaynell Gavin and M.S. Coe. Each contributed a piece of writing inspired by their residencies this summer. Dr. Gavin’s essay “Reflections of a Neophyte Prairie Topophiliac” and Ms. Coe’s short story “Summer Yardscape” are posted on the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/heho/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. For more information go online to www.nps.gov/heho or call (319) 643-2541.

 
Facts are STUBBORN Things...Long Gun Reporting Requirement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:40

Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder, Nov. 8, 2011

 

Long Gun Reporting Requirement

Attorney General Holder: “[E]arlier this year, the House of Representatives actually voted to keep law enforcement in the dark when individuals purchase semiautomatic rifles and shotguns in southwest border gun shops.  Providing law enforcement with the tools to detect and to disrupt illegal gun trafficking is entirely consistent with the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.”

FACT

In Operation Fast and Furious, law enforcement was not in the dark when individuals purchased these weapons.  Rather, they were receiving real-time—and sometimes advance—notice from cooperating gun dealers when suspected straw buyers would purchase pistols or long guns.  The information for both pistols and long guns was placed onto what is called a “4473” form, which gun dealers then faxed to the ATF.  However, rather than using that information to question the suspected straw buyers and eventually make arrests, ATF chose to allow them to continue to traffic guns.  There were about 93 multiple handgun purchases by Fast and Furious suspects averaging nearly five handguns per purchase. These were already required to be reported under existing regulations.  There were about 148 multiple long gun purchases by Fast and Furious suspects, averaging over 9 long guns per purchase.  Most of the purchases were made by just a few buyers.  Cooperating dealers reported them even without a regulatory requirement because they were suspicious and involved known straw buyers.

For instance, within three days of Jaime Avila’s January 16, 2010, purchase of the two weapons that were later recovered at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder, ATF had entered the purchase into their Suspect Gun Database.  Beginning 7 weeks prior to that date, ATF had already entered 13 weapons purchased by Avila into their Suspect Gun Database, including 8 long guns.  The problem was not a lack of information.  It was a failure to act on the information the government already had.

Supporting Documents of the FACTS

 
Grassley Praises Restored Funding for U.S. Counternarcotics Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:23

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today said House and Senate appropriators are restoring funding for Defense Department international counternarcotics programs.  Grassley, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, caucus chairman, had urged appropriators to restore the funding, which lapsed Oct. 1.

“The funding lapse was worrisome,” Grassley said.  “It put counternarcotics efforts at risk of losing momentum and backsliding on progress in hotbed areas.  It’s a relief that for the safety and security of the United States, funding for U.S. counternarcotics programs abroad will be restored very soon.”

The appropriators’ language restoring the funding is available here, p. 280.  Letters from Grassley and Feinstein to try to restore funding are available here, here and here.

-30-

 
<< Start < Prev 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 Next > End >>

Page 360 of 432