Commends Iowa Businesses for Leading in Clean Energy Production
Washington, DC - January 21, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) commended Western Dubuque Biodiesel and announced the businesses would be receiving a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) award of almost $200,000.
"I'm proud to support Western Dubuque Biodiesel and the work they do to help reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil," said Congressman Braley. "I've visited their business several times, and I'm happy to hold them up as an example of what Iowa is: a place where we grow our economy and create new jobs by fostering innovative ideas - especially in the fields of clean energy and biofuels."
The USDA Rural Development Award totals $178,926.98 and will be used to help expand production of advanced biofuels. The award comes on the same day as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement that it approved the use of 15 percent blend ethanol (E15) for automobiles and light trucks of model year 2001 and newer.
"I was heartened by the EPA's decision and approval of E15 today - it's great news for our state and our workforce," said Braley. "With the EPA's decision, I hope new businesses and companies will follow the example of Western Dubuque Biofuels and others like them - by innovating, expanding and creating good-paying jobs right here in Iowa."
Braley Announces $2.4 Million for Local Housing Programs
Washington, DC - January 20, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) announced almost $2.4 million in grant money for housing and homeless assistance programs in Eastern Iowa. The grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance program.
"This money is incredibly important for housing assistance programs all over the First District," Braley said. "With these funds, many dedicated individuals will be able to provide crucial housing services and support to homeless Iowans during tough winters."
HUD money funds various public and private programs that provide a range of assistance to homeless persons, including transition housing, permanent housing and a variety of supportive services. These funds are awarded annually in a nationwide competition.
# # #
Braley Opposes Health Care Repeal
Washington, DC - January 19, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) voted against the Republican bill to repeal the health care reform law.
"The new majority campaigned on balancing the budget and getting our deficit under control, but their very first legislative initiative would blow a $230 billion hole in our deficit," said Congressman Braley. "There's no way I could support this irresponsible legislation."
If enacted into law, the Republicans' repeal would also roll back the most popular provisions that protect consumers from insurance company abuses. Insurance companies would once again be able to deny coverage to children and adults with pre-existing conditions, prevent young adults from staying on their parents' plans until age 26 and drop coverage for pregnant women and cancer survivors.
"The health care law, and the Republicans' effort to repeal it, has a human face," said Braley. "My nephew was finally able to take a new job, knowing his four-year-old son Tucker won't be dropped from his new health plan because of a liver cancer diagnosis. That's just one family. There are millions like them in Iowa and across the country."
"My Republican colleagues also don't seem to understand the very serious ramifications of their political games - or they haven't read their own bill. The text of their bill clearly states that they intend to repeal the health care law and restore its provisions as if it had never been enacted. One consequence of that language is that if this bill becomes law, millions of seniors across the country would be forced to pay the government $250 that they received and already spent under the health care reform law. I know Iowa's seniors can't afford that - and I certainly won't let my constituents pay the price for this political stunt."
Braley Introduces "Veterans Day Off" Bill;
Legislation Would Make Veterans Day a Holiday for All Veterans
Washington, DC - January 19, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced a bill to make Veterans Day a holiday for all veterans in the United States.
"Veterans Day is meant to remember and commemorate those brave men and women who have served our nation. It's only right that they be able to take this day off work," said Congressman Braley.
While Veterans Day is currently designated as a federal holiday, private employers can choose not to observe it. This bill would require private employers to give any employee who is a veteran a day off on "Veterans Day." The holiday can be paid or unpaid, at the employer's discretion. The legislation does include exceptions for small businesses, cases where public health or safety are concerned, or where the holiday would significantly disrupt operations.
The bill is Braley's first act as a new member of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the 112th Congress. Braley was confirmed as a member of the Committee earlier today at a meeting of the Democratic Caucus.
"There are 240,317 veterans in the state of Iowa and each of them deserves the very best that our government can provide - the best care, the best services and the most responsive representation in Congress," said Braley. "I've been an advocate for veterans since I first got to Congress, and I'm thrilled to be a member of this important committee where I can do even more for our veterans."
Braley to Cantor: Read Your Bill. Braley Warns that Seniors Would Be Forced to Pay Govt under Repeal Bill
Washington, DC - January 19, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) warned that seniors who received a $250 check towards prescription drugs under the health care reform law would be required to return that money, according to the text of the repeal bill being considered in the House tonight.
"Regardless of what the Majority Leader said yesterday, the text of his own bill is clear - it calls for repealing the provisions of the health care law and restoring them as if the law had never been enacted. Now, based on what I learned in law school, that means repealing the law and restoring the appropriate funds, in this case those $250 checks that were distributed and spent by seniors across America," said Congressman Braley.
"In Iowa alone, we have 39,430 seniors who have received and spent these checks. Now, Republicans are pushing a bill that would force these seniors to write a $250 check to the government once the repeal is enacted. I don't know if Mr. Cantor was being intentionally misleading or was just careless when discussing this issue with reporters, but the seniors in my district shouldn't have to pay the price for this political stunt."
"I sincerely hope my Republican colleagues will read their own bill and consider these serious ramifications as we take this vote tonight."
H.R. 2 clearly states that the health care reform law would be repealed and "restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted."