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Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 09:45

Leahy, Grassley, Feinstein, Chambliss Introduce Bill To Extend Mueller’s Term

WASHINGTON – May 26, 2011 - The top Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence introduced legislation Thursday to address President Obama’s request to extend the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller for two years.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) introduced a bill to provide a one-time extension of Mueller’s service.

Earlier this month, President Obama requested that Congress enact a one-time extension of Mueller’s term, which is limited to 10 years by statute.  Mueller assumed the post of FBI Director just one week before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; his term is set to expire September 3.

“Bob Mueller has served tirelessly and selflessly for 10 years, and is undoubtedly ready to begin the next phase of his life,” said Leahy.  “But he has characteristically answered duty’s call and indicated his willingness to continue his service.  We should fulfill our duty, as well, and join together without delay to secure the continuity and stability that is demanded at this time, and that is needed to keep our country safe.”

“The ten-year term for an FBI director is good for the agency and our country.  It was designed to insulate the FBI Director from the political process and ensure that no one Director amass too much power.  It has worked for thirty-five years.  But, we live in extraordinary times.  Given the complex and uncertain time we live in, the good work of Director Mueller following September 11, and a heightened alert to terrorist attack following the death of Osama Bin Laden, this one-time statutory exemption that will extend the term of FBI Director Mueller’s term by two years is the right decision.  I do this with trepidation, though, because of the constitutional and precedential concerns associated with this action,” Grassley said.  “I look forward to a hearing in the Judiciary Committee so we can address those concerns.”

“During the last decade, Robert Mueller has provided steady leadership and stability at the FBI.  He has worked to transform the culture of the Bureau into an agency that can better identify and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States,” said Feinstein.  “Under his leadership, the FBI has played an essential role in more than 20 significant counterterrorism operations, while infiltrating and arresting individuals charged with planning attacks against our country. Extending Director Mueller’s term at the FBI for an additional two years will ensure the transition at the FBI continues and will provide important stability to the President’s national security team during this sensitive and challenging time.”

“In addition to leading our crime-fighting efforts inside the United States, the FBI plays a critical national security role,” said Chambliss.  “Director Mueller has done an outstanding job ensuring the American people remain safe from domestic attacks.  In light of Osama bin Laden’s death, the approaching 9/11 anniversary, and the leadership transitions occurring at the Pentagon and the CIA, I believe granting a one-time, two-year extension of Director Mueller’s term is the right thing to do.”

The legislation will be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.  The text of the legislation is available here.

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LLINOIS & IOWA DELEGATIONS CALL FOR MEETING WITH ARMY SECRETARY TO DISCUSS REPORTS OF POSSIBLE JMTC CLOSURE AT ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – May 26, 2011 - After learning that an internal task force at the Army Materiel Command (AMC) is considering relocating Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC), a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations called for a meeting with the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, as soon as possible to discuss their concerns about the cost associated with conducting such a move as well as the impact it would have on the Rock Island Arsenal.

Members signing on to today’s letters include: U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) along with U.S. Representatives Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) and Bruce Braley (D-IA-01) .

“It is our understanding that the Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget. These recommendations are due in July as part of an Army-wide effort to find savings in a time of tight budgets.  We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a potential approach being considered by this task force,” the Members wrote. “Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these matters as they may impact Rock Island.”

The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a one-of-a-kind U.S. Army facility which manufactures critical equipment for our troops around the world. The more than 1,700 individuals employed at JMTC specialize in manufacturing artillery, armor, small arms, and mobile maintenance kits for use on the front lines. The JMTC, perhaps best known for howitzer production, operates the Army’s only foundry and since 2003 has produced half of all armor for Army tactical wheeled vehicles. Veterans make up more than half of JMTC’s highly-skilled workforce.

A similar letter was sent to General Ann Dunwoody, the Commanding General of the Army Material Command which oversees the JMTC’s operations and would have firsthand knowledge of the internal task force. Today’s letters follow up on a previous request to meet with General Dunwoody who is not available to meet until July, the same month the task force will report its cost-cutting recommendations.

[Text of the letters below]

May 26, 2011

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We hope to meet with you as soon as practicable to discuss the importance of Rock Island’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center to the Quad Cities region.

It is our understanding that the Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget. These recommendations are due in July as part of an Army-wide effort to find savings in a time of tight budgets.  We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a potential approach being considered by this task force.

As you know JMTC is a state of the art manufacturing facility that can rapidly respond to warfighter needs.  It has produced armor that protected our troops overseas and has produced almost every howitzer in the Army inventory.  JMTC employs more than 1,700 jobs and is an anchor in the local and regional economy.

Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these matters as they may impact Rock Island.



May 26, 2011

General Ann E. Dunwoody

Commanding General

US Army Material Command

9301 Chapek Road

Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

Dear General Dunwoodie:

Earlier this month, we requested a meeting with you through the Army Liaison’s Office but were told you would not be available until July at the earliest.  However, recent events highlight the need for this meeting to take place as soon as possible.  It is our understanding that Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget, which will report its recommendation in July.   We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is a potential approach being considered by this task force.

Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible and would be happy to host you in Washington as early as this Friday, May 27, 2011.

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PATRIOT EXTENSION CLEARS SENATE

Thursday, May 26, 2011 

Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the following statement after the Senate voted to extend the USA PATRIOT Act.

“The Senate vote was a reaffirmation of the importance of these expiring authorities that help secure our nation.  The three expiring provisions have provided a great deal of information to agents that have helped thwart terrorist attacks while protecting legitimate privacy and constitutional rights. Now, I hope the House will give the agents the certainty and predictability they need to use these tools to collect critical intelligence in the War on Terror.”

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