DAVENPORT, IOWA (March 29, 2010) Visitors who sign up to become a new museum member will receive a free glass stein at the German American Heritage Center & Museum in Davenport, Iowa while supplies last. Visitors can stop by the museum at 712 West 2nd Street in Davenport, Iowa and sign up for membership and pick up their stein.

Museum members receive free admission all year to the permanent and special exhibits, a free subscription to our quarterly Member Magazine, free admission to special programs and events, member-only events, a 10% discount at the gift shop, discounts on classes, and trips, and a discount to the museum's facility rental. Membership is $35 for an individual, $45 for a couple, $55 for a household, $55 for grandparents/grandchildren, and $1,000 for a life member individual, or $1,500 for a life member couple. 

Last fall the museum underwent a major renovation and expansion that resulted in a highly interactive, audiovisual experience of nearly 4,000 square feet of dynamic exhibits. Visitors of all ages and heritage backgrounds will be fascinated as they explore the human experience of leaving one's homeland in the hopes of finding opportunity and happiness in another country. In the museum visitors step into the footprints of a person from over a century ago and

hear the sounds of a storm at sea, the roar of an old wooden German rollercoaster, and joyous music celebration as they travel through 2,000 years. Museum members receive free admission to our

 new permanent exhibit and our special rotating exhibits. The current special exhibit is Amana Colonies: Moving to the City.

 

The German American Heritage Center works to preserve and enrich the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American Culture. The museum also partners with other cultural groups to demonstrate the contributions immigrants from many countries and from varied backgrounds have made to the ethnic palette which is the United States. For more information on all of the museum's exhibits, programs, events, classes, and workshops visit www.gahc.org or call 563-322-8844. General admission is: Adults: $5; Seniors:$4; Children: $3 (5 - 17 years old); Free for children under 5. Museum members are free. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturday open 10 am - 4 pm; Sunday open 12 - 4 pm.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on media reports that the President will soon name Dr. Donald M. Berwick as his nominee to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The programs serve nearly one-third of all Americans.  The Finance Committee will handle the nomination.

"This is always a big job, but the administration of health care reform, which includes implementing the hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts and the biggest expansion of Medicaid in its history, will make it more challenging than ever.  The Finance Committee vetting will need to explore the nominee's preparedness for the enormous challenges that face the agency."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on the President's recess appointment of two nominees that were pending in the committee.

"A lot of presidents have used recess appointments, but it shows a lot of disregard for the Senate's advise-and-consent role to bypass not just the full Senate, but also the committee of jurisdiction that was in the middle of vetting the nominees in its jurisdiction. Jeffrey Goldstein and Alan Bersin were undergoing the Finance Committee's vetting process.  The vetting was bipartisan, as it has been since 2001 and maybe before that.  Dr. Goldstein was answering my final questions about his prior work at a private equity firm that used offshore blocker corporations in the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes and his earning of 'carried interest.'  Mr. Bersin was answering questions from both the chairman's and my staff about what appeared to be conflicting information about his documentation and disclosure of various household employees.  In both cases, this due diligence was directly relevant to the positions these nominees will hold.  It's a blow to a 'well-functioning government', to use the President's term, that the President didn't see fit to allow the Finance Committee's due diligence to conclude.  Now that the vetting process has been interrupted, these individuals will take their jobs without the public knowing whether they have experience that bears negatively (or positively) on their ability to serve the taxpayers.  Also, the President should be more precise in his claims of Republican obstructionism.  Finance Committee vetting is bipartisan.  Beyond that, senators have every right to draw attention to an issue of concern by highlighting a nominee. It's something that happened regularly with Democratic senators and Bush nominees, sometimes before a nominee was even allowed to have a hearing in the Finance Committee."

Braley to meet with small business leaders, discuss job creation

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) will make stops in Dubuque, Clinton and DeWitt on Tuesday. Braley will visit Dubuque to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hormel's new plant, then meet with small business leaders in Clinton and DeWitt.  

On March 18, President Barack Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act into law, including Braley's small business tax cut to spur job creation. Braley's provision created a payroll tax cut for small business owners who hire previously unemployed workers.

TUESDAY, March 30

WHAT: Rep. Braley to attend Hormel Food's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WHEN: 12:00pm CST

WHERE: Hormel Foods, 1205 Chavenelle Court, Dubuque

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with women-owned small business leaders in Clinton.

WHEN: 2:00pm CST

WHERE: Sedona Staffing, 2418 Virginia Ave, Suite E, Clinton

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with DeWitt small business leaders.

WHEN: 3:30pm CST

WHERE: Total Realty, 700 6th Ave, DeWitt

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Friday, April 9th at 5pm
124 S. Main St. Maquoketa

This closing reception of the Spring Landscape workshop will feature completed works from the workshop attendees as well as work by:

  • Tom Metcalf
  • Arthur Geisert
  • Fred Easker
  • Chuck Morris

Wine and refreshments will be served.



There are still spots available for this workshop. Call 563-652-9925 with inquiries.

WASHINGTON - Chuck Grassley today cited a new report by the Office of the Inspector General at the Social Security Administration as further evidence that the federal government's charge card program continues to be ripe for fraud and abuse.  The report found many of the same deficiencies that have been found in other agencies, such as a lack of documentation to support transactions.

"This is more evidence as to why the House should take up and pass my legislation.  With the amount of money coming in and going out of the federal bureaucracy, it's more important than ever to ensure that the taxpayers' dollars are accounted for," Grassley said.

Grassley introduced legislation in April 2009 to require federal agencies to establish safeguards and controls for government charge card programs.  The bill also requires agencies to set penalties for violations.  Grassley said he hopes the House of Representatives will act quickly on this common-sense legislation.  The bill cleared the full Senate in October and now awaits House approval.

Grassley has done extensive oversight with the Government Accountability Office to determine how federal government employees are using government charge cards to make purchases for personal use.  He first began looking into the issue in 2001, starting at the Department of Defense.  Since then, abuses have been documented at the Departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Forest Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and others.

The Government Accountability Office reports identified an inadequate and inconsistent control environment across numerous federal agencies with respect to both government purchase cards and government travel cards.

Grassley said the lack of controls have led to millions of dollars in taxpayers' money wasted.  The reports outlined purchases that were fraudulent, of questionable need, or were unnecessarily expensive, including kitchen appliances, sapphire rings, gambling, cruises, gentlemen=s clubs and legalized brothels.

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WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 - Chuck Grassley has introduced legislation with Amy Klobuchar to help ensure veterans' medical facilities can adequately compete for qualified mental health professionals, doctors, dentists and nurses.

The legislation designates Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities and state veterans' homes as Health Professional Shortage Areas which allows the facilities to compete for National Health Service Corps fellows.  The program makes student loan repayments to doctors, dentists, and mental health professionals who pledge to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area for at least two years.

"Making sure our veterans get the care they need also means making sure that health care professionals are available to help them.  This legislation gives our veterans facilities an opportunity to tap into a network of providers ready and willing to support our men and women who fought for our freedom," Grassley said.

Veterans facilities that apply to be designated a Health Professional Shortage Area must show a need for additional health care professionals.  Once designated, the facilities compete with other eligible sites to hire the National Health Service Corps fellows.  The legislation does not allow National Health Service Corps fellows to simultaneously receive scholarship or loan repayment benefits from other VA employee programs.

Grassley said that as more and more Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans seek health care, the VA needs to be prepared to handle an increase in patients.  "This legislation provides another avenue for the VA to get the personnel it needs to help our wounded warriors," Grassley said.

Grassley has also been pressing the VA for answers about its claims backlog.  A recent case before the Supreme Court revealed that VA decisions to deny veterans benefit claims are not only being overturned at a high rate, but that in as many as 70 percent of the cases, the VA's position is not even substantially justified.  Grassley said that the fact that VA decisions are overturned with this kind of frequency, meaning they were wrongly decided in the first place, is an indication of serious, systemic problems with the way the VA considers the benefits claims made by veterans.

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"I offered a bill that extended unemployment and COBRA benefits and took care of the Medicare cut that doctors across the country will be hit with if the extension doesn't pass, and I paid for it.  A win-win for everybody.  It's a shame the Democrats are filibustering this much needed help. I also offered this fully-offset package as an amendment to the reconciliation bill that the House just voted on and is now on its way to the President's desk.  But, the majority blocked both opportunities to help those in need without adding to the deficit.   My bill would help those who are still feeling the impact of a down economy and it wouldn't add to the national debt we're leaving to our kids and grandkids.  Unfortunately, the majority decided they would once again rather make a political point than pass a bill and fix the problem."  - Senator Chuck Grassley, R-!A.

Includes Critical Medicare Reimbursement Language Secured by Braley

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement today after voting to pass a package of fixes to the Senate Health Care Bill.  Saturday morning, Braley and a core group of other Representatives were able to achieve a major breakthrough in Medicare reimbursement policy that secured his vote for the bills.

"One of my biggest priorities has been fighting to fix unfair and inefficient geographic differences, and reform the Medicare system to one that pays Iowa's medical professionals for the high-quality, low-cost health care they currently provide. Early Saturday morning, we achieved a major breakthrough in reforming our Medicare reimbursement system.

"I'm proud to say that the House reconciliation package will finally fix these inequities, move us to a better reimbursement model that emphasizes quality over quantity, and help recruit well-qualified health-care providers to Iowa. These important changes will go above and beyond the Senate bill we passed Sunday, providing an immediate $800 million to address geographic disparities for both doctors and hospitals, as well as written guarantees from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for further action to reform Medicare reimbursement rates.

"This bill, paired with the Senate bill we passed on Sunday, will decrease health insurance costs, expand access to quality, affordable health care, improve reimbursements for Iowa medical providers and allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance. This legislation will provide much-needed relief for thousands of businesses in Iowa's First District and will reduce our deficit by more than $143 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the 10 years after that. After reading the bill, listening to my constituents and debating the bill's provisions in Congress, I'm convinced this legislation is good for Iowa."

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WASHINGTON - Chuck Grassley today said President Barack Obama has added several Iowa counties to a major disaster declaration he originally made on March 2.  Today's news triggers the release of FEMA funds to additional counties to help them recover from the severe winter storms that occurred from January 19 - 26.  Additional designations may be made at a later date after further evaluation.

"There has been an enormous amount of damage in Iowa caused by winter storms," Grassley said.  "It's good to see new counties being added so Iowans can continue cleaning up the damage."

FEMA will now provide assistance to Adams, Boone, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dallas, Emmet, Greene, Hardin, Ida, Monona, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Story and Union counties, in additional to those named in the March 2 declaration, through the Public Assistance program.  The Public Assistance program assists state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

All Iowa counties are also eligible to apply for assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant program.  The Hazard Mitigation Grant program assists state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

Grassley sent a letter to Obama asking him to grant Governor Chet Culver's request to declare Iowa a major disaster area as a result of the severe winter storms that occurred from January 19 - 26.

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