Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today urged the House Republican leadership to swiftly bring up and pass legislation that will prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1st.  Loebsack is a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, which would ensure the increase does not occur.  If the increase were to go into effect, the average student borrower would have to pay an additional $1000.  Loebsack is a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, which has jurisdiction over this legislation.

"With tuition rising rapidly and far too many Iowans struggling to make ends meet, middle-class families are finding it more and more difficult to pay for college. I strongly believe that every student deserves the opportunity to attend college if they wish to pursue higher education," wrote Loebsack.  "I grew up in poverty, and I would not have had the opportunity to attend college without financial assistance. It is extremely important that we work to address student loan interest rates because without Congressional action, 7 million low- and middle-income families will be subject to a $6 billion interest rate hike."

As a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack has championed numerous pieces of legislation to increase access to higher education, including:

  • College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) Loebsack helped craft and pass this legislation, which makes college more affordable and accessible for all Iowans by increasing the maximum Pell Grant scholarship and expanding eligibility;
  • Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, H.R. 3221 Loebsack was a cosponsor of this bill, which will save American taxpayers $61 billion by making the student loan process more efficient.  The bill further expanded the maximum Pell Grant available from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 in 2017, granting Iowa students more than $291 million for higher education. This bill was the largest single investment in student aid in America's history, and will make college more accessible, transform the way student loan programs operate and strengthens community colleges.

A copy of the letter Loebsack sent to the House Speaker and the Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee can be seen here.

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WHO: Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Illinois State Senator Darin LaHood, Illinois State Representative Rich Morthland, and staff with US Senator Mark Kirk

 

WHAT: Press conference featuring area officials urging the Illinois Department of Transportation to support of the Interstate 74 Bridge project

 

WHEN: Monday, April 23, 2012 at 8:00 am Central Standard Time

 

WHERE: Stoney Creek Inn - The Blackhawk Room, 101 18th Street, Moline IL, 61265

 

WHY: In 2005, the I-74 Bridge became the most traveled bridge in the Quad Cities with an average of 77,800 vehicles crossing daily.  This is despite the fact that it was built for 48,000 such crossings.  The Bridge itself is functionally obsolete, however, and has never met Interstate standards.

 

The Iowa Department of Transportation last year pledged $63 million for the project in its long-term transportation plan, and was intending to add an additional $114 million in a plan it is currently developing.  Recent news reports suggest that the Illinois Department of Transportation has not programmed funding for the Bridge's construction in its long-term transportation plan.

 

The I-74 Bridge project would create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups, and improve air quality.  With a project as big and as important as the Bridge, it is necessary for the region's local officials to come together in support of advancing the I-74 Bridge.

 

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Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today announced that he will tour two small businesses in Bettendorf on MONDAY, April 23rd at 1:00pm.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and Loebsack will see firsthand the products and goods that are made and sold in Iowa.  Details of his visit are below.  Media is invited to attend.

 

"What I hear time and again from small business owners here in Iowa is the same thing I hear from students, parents and educators: We must build and make things here at home again," said Loebsack.  "I am excited to meet with the owners and employees of these businesses to hear firsthand their ideas for growing our economy."

 

Small Business Tour

 

Terrostar Technology Solutions and Medix

3565 Utica Ridge Road

Bettendorf

1:00pm

 

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Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today urged the Iowa Department of Transportation to continue a plan for construction on the Iowa side of the I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities in light of the Illinois Department of Transportation's reported decision to not include this necessary project on their list of priorities. Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) is also sending a similar letter to the Illinois DOT.

 

"Having met and talked with many community leaders, businesses owners, and residents of the Quad Cities, I know that continued delay of this project will have significant negative effects on productivity, quality of life, and economic development for the region," wrote Loebsack.  "I am disappointed by this development and know this project is a priority for the Quad Cities.  I again respectfully urge you to work to find a way to ensure I-74 Bridge construction can move forward at a minimum on the Iowa side and work with ILDOT to express the importance of this project."

 

Previously, Loebsack has met with representatives from the Iowa DOT about the importance of the I-74 bridge.  He has also expressed the need to replace the bridge with the Secretary of Transportation, the Speaker of the House and has urged the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to take action.

 

A copy of the letter can be seen here.

 

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Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today applauded the U.S. Department of Education's announcement that they will focus on improving Career and Technical Education (CTE).  Loebsack has been a longtime supporter of CTE programs and is the sponsor of the SECTORS Act, which will retool and streamline our workforce development programs to train workers for specialized fields by creating partnerships between private industry and education. The Department of Education's proposal includes incentives for similar public-private partnerships.

 

"I continually hear from employers that despite the unacceptable unemployment rate, they can't find people with the skills they need.  We must ensure workers have the training they need to get good paying jobs and employers have access to a workforce that has the skills that are required in a 21st century economy," said Loebsack.  "Career and Technical Education has the potential to create jobs that will keep Iowa's young talent in the state and make American students more competitive in the global economy.  We should continue to focus on preparing students to secure good jobs and to help grow our economy."

 

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program provides support for career and technical education through grants to states. The program's goal is to help students acquire the academic and technical skills that prepare them for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand occupations. In Iowa, Perkins provides support for career education in agricultural fields, business and information technology, industrial technology, and health occupations, among other fields.

 

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Washington, D.C. - At a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing today, Congressman Dave Loebsack, and both Republican and Democratic witnesses, stressed the importance of incorporating his SECTORS Act or sector strategies into the majority's Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization that the Committee Majority is currently moving forward. Last month, legislation introduced by the minority included Loebsack's language to retool and streamline our workforce development programs to train workers for specialized fields by bringing together key players in our communities.  The Majority bill includes some support for sector strategies but needs significant improvements, which is why Loebsack urged them to work in a bipartisan fashion on improvements moving forward.

 

"Every weekend when I am back in Iowa, I speak with employers about the importance of this approach to grow our economy now and in the future," said Loebsack.  "We need to better organize training and education by bringing together all the critical people in the community, higher education, and management to determine how to save and create new industries and streamline the workforce system to get people the training they need to secure good jobs and the skills employers want."

 

To watch video of the hearing, click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statement on Equal Pay Day, which is intended to bring attention to the inequality in pay between genders and marks how much longer a woman must work into 2012 to earn as much as a man earned in 2011. According to Census data, in 2011 women earned just 77 percent of what was earned by their male counterparts.

 

"Equal Pay is not a women's issue or a man's issue, it is a family issue.  In today's tough economy, Iowa's working families are pinching every penny just to make ends meet and in most families with children, both parents work.  It is now more critical than ever that our mothers, daughter, sisters and aunts receive the same pay for the same work as their male counterparts so our families do not have to sacrifice basic necessities.

 

"In the 49 years since the Equal Pay Act was first signed into law, substantial steps have been made in addressing the wage gap between men and women, but more must be done.  I was proud to help introduce the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored a women's right to challenge unfair pay. This legislation was signed into law by the President in January 2009.  I am also a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act that would not only give a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act, but it would also help working families by eliminating the wage gap.

 

"Standing up for equal pay benefits everyone - men, women and children. It also strengthens families across Iowa.  It is time we pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and eliminate the wage gap."

 

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Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today announced that he will continue his Rural Economy Tour, TOMORROW, April 14th at locations in Cedar and Muscatine Counties. Throughout the year, Loebsack has visited farms and businesses that have a direct impact on the rural economy to hear firsthand about the needs of rural Iowans. Media is invited to attend.

 

"Rural areas in Iowa are the backbone of our state's economy," said Loebsack.  "We have to ensure they have the tools necessary to thrive."

 

Rural Economy Tour

 

Cedar County Stops

10:15

T&M Clothing

407 Cedar St.

Tipton

 

10:30

City Hall Steakhouse

509 Cedar St.

Tipton

 

11:15

Stuefen Overhead Door Manufacturing open house

Industrial Park

1707 HWY 130

Tipton

 

Muscatine County Stop

2:00

Geertz's Family Farm

1118 North Walnut Street

West Liberty

 

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Original works by local high school students due April 18th

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that the deadline for high school students in the Second Congressional District to submit original pieces of art to be considered in the Congressional Art Competition is April 18th.  In the spring of every year, the United States House of Representatives hosts this competition to recognize talented young artists from across the nation. The winning student from each district is invited to Washington, DC for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and will have his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

"The creativity of our talented young artists demonstrates that the arts are thriving in Iowa.  Each year that I have hosted this contest, I have been amazed by the talent of these students," said Loebsack. "For a young artist, having your artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol is quite a remarkable accomplishment. Judging this competition is always difficult, but I look forward to seeing this year's entries and meeting with the artists."

All entries should be sent to Loebsack's Iowa City office at 125 South Dubuque Street, not later than Wednesday, April, 18th.  Loebsack will also host a reception to honor all students who submit artwork on Saturday, April 21st from 11:00am to Noon at the University of Iowa's Art Building West on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. For additional details about the competition, students should contact Dave Leshtz in Loebsack's Iowa City office at 319-351-0789.

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Tour and Meeting at Vera French Mental Health Center

 

WHO Congressman Dave Loebsack

 

WHAT Dave will tour the facility and meet with staff for an informal roundtable about mental health issues in Scott County

 

WHERE 1441 West Central Park Avenue, Davenport

 

TIME 1:30pm

 

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