WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 30, 2010 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), today congratulated Dr. Andrea McGuire of Iowa on being appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality.  Dr. McGuire is the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical and Network Management/Risk Selection at American Enterprise Group in Des Moines.

"Dr. McGuire's passion for patient advocacy coupled with her experience in research, disease management, and quality improvement will greatly benefit the Advisory Council," said Harkin.  "She understands the economics of healthcare and the impact that quality and research have on these economics.  In addition, she has dedicated much of her career to the improvement of the quality of care of patients with chronic disease.  I congratulate Dr. McGuire on this appointment."

The 21-member panel is comprised of private-sector experts who contribute a varied perspective on the health care system and most pressing needs of research to promote improvements in the quality, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of clinical practice.  Members are appointed by the Secretary to serve 3-year terms.

Marla Press, a 1979 graduate of Rock Island High School currently living in Houston, Texas, has recently published a book entitled "I'm a Dog, You're a Cat (Love Lessons From our Furry Friends)". She will be visiting the Quad Cities on April 5 to promote the book, which has been hailed as "a communications discovery that utilizes cat and dog analogies to shed light on -- and help improve -- personal relationships."

In a recent interview, Ms. Press explained the idea behind the book. "About 18 months ago, I stumbled upon the cosmic notion that people are inherently different at their very core; humans are hard-wired to be more like a feline or more like a canine," she said. "I wanted to share this idea with everyone I talked to and realized that the illustrations would be key to the book's success. I have long admired artist Jim Tweedy's work. In fact, I have three of his prints in my home. I approached Jim through his Houston gallery and he readily agreed to put his talent to work in my book. I was thrilled, to say the least!"

"Once people discover and define their inner dog or cat tendencies, they can learn many love lessons from their furry companions as they explore the intrinsic personality traits of cats and dogs," Ms. Press added. "I want to reach out to readers and have them share stories of the dogs and cats in their lives. Most people are in relationships or have dogs or cats. There are lessons to be learned by sharing our experiences with others." Although this is her first book, she hopes a series of others will follow based on reader-submitted stories.

According to Ms. Press, the book has taken on a life of its own. It has been featured in Houston Pet Talk Magazine, and Neiman Marcus department stores have been instrumental in promoting it in local markets throughout Texas. Ms. Press' "real job" is as a Regional Sales Director for Forward Management, LLC working with financial advisors throughout the mid-southern states.

The Quad City book signings will take place on Tuesday, April 5 from noon to 2 p.m. at Quad City Arts, 1715 - 2nd Avenue in Rock Island, and from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Rock Island County Animal Care & Contol Shelter, 4001 78th Avenue in Moline, where a portion of the proceeds will go to QC PAWS (in support of the shelter). The book retails for $24.99 and is available only through her book signings or at www.imadogyoureacat.com.

By Senator Tom Harkin

Right now in Washington, we are having an important debate on the federal budget, which involves how we fund priorities for the fiscal year.  Unfortunately, some are using this as an excuse to attack one of the bedrocks of the American middle class: Social Security.

Like many Iowans, I can personally attest to the critical role Social Security plays in the lives of Americans.  My father had nothing more than an 8th grade education and worked in the coal mines for much of his life.  He married a widow - my mother - and they bought a small farm in Iowa.  In the Great Depression, he lost his farm and his savings and when I was 10 years old, my mother passed away.  At that time, my father was 64, handicapped from black lung, with little savings to his name and three sons under the age of 18.  Fortunately, that next year at age 65, he started to receive his Social Security checks - money he earned from years of hard work.  This was our only income, and because of it, our family was able to stay together, my brothers and I were able to get an education and my father was able to keep his dignity.

This personal story is just one of the millions of examples of the important role Social Security continues to play for countless Americans. Social Security is the most successful domestic program in our nation's history.  It lifts over 13 million seniors out of poverty every year, and for almost half of our seniors, Social Security makes up around 80 percent of their retirement income.  It has provided millions of Americans with the chance to retire with dignity and will continue to be the foundation of a secure retirement as future generations enter their golden years.

Unfortunately, today the same people who wanted to leave Social Security to the whims of the stock market are now using the budget debate as an excuse to attack the hard earned benefits of working class families.  The fact is Social Security has never contributed one dime to the federal deficit, nor is Social Security a long-term contributor to our national debt.  In fact, Social Security will continue to pay every dollar promised for another 26 years.  It is not in crisis.

So during our debate on the federal budget our message is simple: back off Social Security!  

For more information on all that I am doing to protect Social Security, please visit my website at harkin.senate.gov.  To see a speech I recently gave on the subject you can visit my Youtube page at www.youtube.com/SenatorTomHarkin.


Prepared Floor Statement of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Opposition to Coburn Amendment

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mr. President, I'd like to express my strong opposition to amendment #220 offered by Senator Coburn.  Senator Coburn's amendment would raise the tax on domestic energy production by repealing an incentive for the use of homegrown ethanol.

I'm astonished that given our current situation, there are some who would prefer less domestic energy production.  With conflicts in the Middle East and crude oil more than $100 a barrel, we should be on the same side.  We should all be on the side of more domestically produced energy.  The tremendous cost of America's dependence on foreign oil has never been more clear.

In light of this threat, we should have an energy policy of "all of the above."  I support drilling here, and drilling now.  I support renewable energy.  I support conservation.  And, I support nuclear energy.  It's counterproductive for senators from Big Oil country to single out energy that comes from American agriculture.  I didn't pick this fight.  I support energy from all sources.  I support traditional oil and gas.  And so do American taxpayers with tax incentives, for an industry that's 100 years old.

So, the attack on homegrown energy is really remarkable.  We shouldn't be fighting each other over domestic energy sources.  We should be fighting OPEC and foreign dictators and oil sheiks that hold our economy hostage.

The author of the amendment has argued that the production of clean, homegrown ethanol is fiscally irresponsible.  It's important to remember that the incentive exists to help the producers of ethanol compete with the oil industry.  And remember, the oil industry has been well supported by the federal treasury for more than a century.  President Obama, in his budget request for 2012, has advocated repealing a dozen or so subsidies to big oil.  He's argued that a century-old industry no longer needs tax breaks.  With oil prices at one-hundred dollars a barrel and record profits being made, some could certainly question why this industry needs any taxpayer subsidies at all.  President Obama's proposal would repeal about $44 billion in oil and gas subsidies over 10 years.

I'd like to remind my colleagues of a debate we had last summer on an amendment offered by Senator Sanders.  The amendment he offered would have, among other things, repealed about $35 billion in tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industry.  Opponents of the Sanders amendment argued that repealing the oil and gas subsidies would reduce domestic energy production and drive up our dependence on foreign oil.  Opponents also argued that it would cost U.S. jobs, and increase prices at the pump for consumers.

I tend to agreed with these arguments.  All of my Republican colleagues and more than one-third of Democrats did as well.  But, a repeal of the ethanol tax incentive is a tax increase that will surely be passed on to American consumers.  Repealing incentives for ethanol would have the same exact result.

I know that removing incentives for oil and gas will have the same impact as removing incentives for ethanol.  We'll get less domestically produced ethanol.  It will cost U.S. jobs.  It will increase our dependence on foreign oil.  It will increase prices at the pump for American consumers.  Mr. President, we're already dependent on foreign sources for more than 60 percent of our oil needs.  Why do my colleagues want to increase our foreign energy dependence when we can produce it here a home?

So, I'd like to ask my colleagues who voted against repealing oil and gas subsidies but support repealing incentives for renewable fuels:  why the inconsistency?  Where are the amendments from fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks to repeal the oil and gas subsidies?  The fact is, it's intellectually inconsistent to say that increasing taxes on ethanol is justified, but that it's irresponsible to do so on oil and gas production.  If tax incentives lead to more domestic energy production and good paying jobs, why are only incentives for oil and gas important?

It's even more ridiculous to claim that the 30 year-old ethanol industry is mature and thus no longer needs government support, while the century old oil industry still receives $35 billion in taxpayer dollars.  Regardless, I don't believe we should be raising taxes on any type of energy production or on any individual, particularly during this weak economy.

The senator from Oklahoma insists that because the renewable fuel is required to be used, it doesn't need an incentive.  But, with oil prices at $100 a barrel, oil companies are doing everything they can to extract more oil from the ground. There isn't a mandate to use oil, but it has a 100-year monopoly on our transportation infrastructure.  When there is little competition to oil and it's enormously profitable, wouldn't he argue that the necessary incentives exist to produce it without additional taxpayer support?  Oil essentially has a mandate today.  The economics of oil production are clearly in favor of the producers. Why do they need taxpayer support?

It's also important to understand the hidden cost of our dependence on foreign oil.  A peer-reviewed paper published in 2010 concluded that "....$27 to $138 billion dollars is spent annually by the U.S. military for protection of Middle Eastern maritime oil transit routes and oil infrastructure, with an average of $84 billion a year."  Mr. President, this is $84 billion in American treasure spent on the defense of shipping lanes to quench our thirst for foreign oil.  It's not reflected in the price at the pump.  It's a hidden cost.

Milton Copulos, an advisor to President Ronald Reagan and a veteran of the Heritage Foundation, testified before Congress in 2006 on this issue.  He testified that the hidden cost of imported oil is equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price of a gallon of gasoline from the Persian Gulf.  There is no hidden U.S. military cost attributable to homegrown ethanol.

Let's have the debate on ethanol.  But, let's debate it in the context of a comprehensive energy plan.  This debate should include the subsidies for all energy production. Don't single out ethanol.

Nearly every type of energy gets some market distorting subsidy from the federal government.  An honest energy debate should include ethanol, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass.  It's hypocritical to put our economic and national security at risk by targeting ethanol, while disregarding the subsidies for all other energy sources.  Repealing the ethanol tax incentive will raise taxes on producers, blenders and ultimately consumers of renewable fuel.  This amendment is a gas tax increase of over five cents a gallon at the pump.

I just don't see the logic in arguing for a gas tax increase when we have so many Americans unemployed or underemployed and struggling just to get by.  I know we all agree that we cannot and should not allow job-killing tax hikes during this time of economic uncertainty.  Unfortunately, those members who have called for ending the ethanol incentive have directly contradicted this pledge because a lapse in the credit will raise taxes, cost over 100,000 U.S. jobs at a time of near nine-percent unemployment, and increase our dependence on foreign oil.

The taxpayer watchdog group, Americans for Tax Reform, considers a repeal of this incentive to be a tax hike.  Americans for Tax Reform states, "Repealing the ethanol credit is a corporate income tax increase."  I agree with them.

Now is not the time to impose a gas tax hike on the American people.  Now is not the time to send pink slips to ethanol related jobs.  Ethanol currently accounts for 10 percent of our transportation fuel.  A study concluded that the ethanol industry contributed $8.4 billion to the federal treasury in 2009 -- $3.4 billion more than the ethanol incentive.  Today, the industry supports 400,000 U.S. jobs.  That's why I support a homegrown, renewable fuels industry.

I'd like to conclude by asking my colleagues: If we allow the tax incentive to lapse, from where should we import an additional 10 percent of our oil?  Should we rely on Middle Eastern oil sheiks, or Hugo Chavez?  I'd prefer we support our renewable fuel producers based right here at home, rather than send them a pink slip.  I'd prefer we decrease our dependence on Hugo Chavez, not increase it.  And I certainly don't support raising the tax on gasoline during this weak economy.

Washington, DC - March 30, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to help get justice for victims of sexual trauma and assault in the military. The Support for Survivors Act would require the Department of Defense to ensure life-long storage of all documents connected with reports of sexual assaults and sexual harassment across the military branches. The legislation would also prevent the military from destroying any records relating to sexual assault.

"The men and women who serve our country need to know that their government is standing up for them," said Rep. Braley. "Just earlier today I heard testimony from Linda Schwartz, the President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. She cited reports showing that 23% of women serving in combat areas report being victims of sexual assault perpetrated by other members of the military. That's simply unacceptable, and we cannot allow it to continue. That's why this bill will help our brave troops get justice if they've been victims of sexual trauma or assault while serving. It will ensure that our soldiers have every record they need to get the justice they deserve."

Rep. Braley introduced the bill in the House today with Rep. Poe (TX-02), Rep. Pingree (ME-01) and Rep. Slaughter (NY-28). Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.  

Currently, there is no coordinated policy across the military branches to ensure the preservation of records connected with sexual trauma. Long-term preservation of records would help victims in obtaining benefits and pursuing legal action.

In recent years, there has been an increase in reports of sexual assaults in the military. According to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 official reports of sexual assaults in the military in 2010. Because most incidents are not reported to a military authority, the Pentagon estimates this number represents only 13 to 14% of total assaults.

The Support for Survivors Act would:
-      Ensure that documents connected with reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military are preserved
-      Ensure full privacy and identity protection for both the victim and the perpetrator
-      Ensure life-long access by the service member to his or her personal documents
-      Grant the VA access to documents only at the request of a service member, for the purpose of assisting with the processing of a disability compensation claim
-      Allow the Department of Defense to review the data (but not the names of the individuals mentioned in the reports) to improve research and reporting.


The Bettendorf Discovery Shop invites you to join them Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th for their 19th annual cookbook and kitchenware event.

The store is already packed with great items, and on Thursday morning we will have hundreds and hundreds new and old cookbooks, china, dishes, linens, and many other kitchen items. If you love to cook, or know someone that does, this will be then perfect day for you to shop at the Discovery Shop. If you have cookbooks that you would like to donate for this event we would be happy to have them.

The Discovery Shop is an upscale resale shop selling gently used items donated by the community and staffed by over 100 volunteers. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research, education, patient services and advocacy.

Donations are accepted anytime the shop is open and a tax receipt is always available. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm., Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm. and Saturday from10 am to 4 pm.

We are thankful for all the wonderful donations and excited to have this fun event for our customers.

March 30, 2011

Iowa City, Iowa - The fight against diabetes takes another monumental step April 1 as The Fraternal Order of Eagles and The University of Iowa unite for the official naming of The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.

World renowned entertainer Tony Orlando and comedian Tom Parks, who is an insulin-dependent diabetic, will be on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Who: Representatives of The Fraternal Order of Eagles, the University of Iowa, UI Foundation, entertainer Tony Orlando and comedian Tom Parks.

What: Rally Against Diabetes at Iowa City Eagles Aerie #695, followed by the dedication of The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa. The ceremony is part of a five-year, $25 million pledge made by the Eagles to help fund diabetes research.

When: Friday, April 1. The Rally Against Diabetes will run from 1-3 p.m. with the Naming Event beginning on campus at 4 p.m.

Where: The rally takes place at Iowa City Aerie #695, located at 225 Highway 1 West in Iowa City. The naming event will be held in the atrium of the Medical Education Research Facility (MERF) on the UI campus. (Parking is available in the Newton Road Ramp.)

DES MOINES - Thirty-five Iowa high schools, including Davenport Central, will partner with the Iowa Department of Education to work on solutions to eliminate barriers to learning, including bullying and substance abuse.

Iowa is one of 11 states to be chosen for the prestigious federal grant to participate in the Safe and Supportive program. Nearly $14 million will be spent in Iowa over the next four years to support efforts that will measure and improve statewide conditions for learning, which include school safety, student engagement in school, and the overall school environment.

This spring, the Iowa Department of Education will ask students, parents and faculty at the high schools to simply fill out a confidential survey.  The survey will focus on issues ranging from student safety, to student relationships with other students and adults and to whether students have adequate resources in their schools.

"We look forward to embarking on this new, groundbreaking program," said Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass.  "For the first time, we will measure conditions for learning by surveying the real experts - students, parents and faculty."

After the initial survey is taken, 80% of the grant funding will be used for direct support of the schools that show the greatest opportunity for improvement.  The Iowa Department of Education will provide resources and work with those schools to implement activities that improve conditions for learning.

Information will be gathered each year for four years.  By the fourth year, the final survey will show the nation how much progress Iowa has made in improving conditions for learning.

"It's our responsibility to offer Iowa students our support and give them the best environment we can for them to learn and succeed," continued Director Glass.  "In doing so, we will once again reclaim our status as the national leader in education."

High schools were randomly selected across the state and have agreed to participate in this important program. Attached below is a list of the participating schools across the state.

To receive online updates, find us on our social networks:

March 30, 2011

The Moline Foundation has a grant opportunity through a fund called Karen's Summertime FUNd in honor of Karen Getz. Through the Karen's Summertime FUNd, The Moline Foundation is offering mini-grants between $300 and $1,000. The object of this special opportunity is to provide non-profit organizations extra funds to develop creative, educational, and fun-filled activities for kids during the summer months. Non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply if they serve the citizens of Moline and the surrounding region, including the Quad Cities.

Karen's Summertime FUNd grants are made possible by Tom Getz, the Getz family and friends and many generous donors to The Moline Foundation. Such monies allow The Moline Foundation to give non-profits the opportunity to fill some of the gaps in quality summer programming and to support innovative and worthwhile efforts so that children through the Quad Cities have something just a little extra special to do this summer.

In establishing Karen's Summertime Kids program, we honor the life of a woman who gave to so many others. This special program will help us remember the many ways Karen Getz reached out to children with her sparkling personality and tireless spirit. But Karen will also be remembered as the thoughtful, intuitive partner in so many ventures and programs that brought light and hope to the hungry, homeless, and poor in our community.

All materials necessary to receive funds are due in The Moline Foundation offices by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2011 or must be postmarked by or on Friday, April 29, 2011. Please call The Moline Foundation at (309) 764-4193 to request a Grant Application.

Any child-oriented, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, including those who have never received Moline Foundation funding in the past, is welcome to apply.

The Moline Community Foundation offices are located at the Deere-Wiman House, 817 11th Avenue, Moline.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area, including the Quad Cities region in both Iowa and Illinois. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has a current endowment of approximately $16 million.


Prepared Statement of Ranking Member Chuck Grassley

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary

FBI Oversight Hearing

Wednesday, March 30, 2010

Chairman Leahy, thank you for calling this hearing today.  Before I get started, I wanted to take a moment to say a public thank you to Director Mueller for his service to the country.  This is likely to be the last time he comes before this Committee as the Director of the FBI.  While we have had our share of disagreements on a number of issues, I have always appreciated Director Mueller's candor and his willingness to work with us to get answers?even if we don't always agree with what those answers are.

That said, I look forward to raising a number of issues with the Director today.  First and foremost, I want to talk about the PATRIOT Act and the need to extend the provisions that are set to expire in May.  The three expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act are important tools used by federal law enforcement and the intelligence community to investigate national security threats.  They are vital to our ability to investigate, identify, track, and deter terrorist attacks.  For example, it was recently revealed that the FBI successfully utilized a section 215 order as part of the investigation that prevented a terrorist attack planned by a Saudi national in Texas.  In that case it was revealed that the individual in question purchased bomb making materials such as 3 gallons of sulfuric acid, clocks, chemistry sets, and a gas mask from online retailers Amazon.com and eBay.  This case is the latest of many examples of the successes of the PATRIOT Act provisions.  Given the dangerous threats we face and the fact that the three expiring provisions have not been found to have been abused, the Senate should work to reauthorize the expiring authorities without amendment.

Aside from the critical national security authorities we need to reauthorize, I want to ask Director Mueller about a recent report that was issued by our colleagues in the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.  That committee released a report in February entitled, "A Ticking Time Bomb" that examined the tragic shootings at Fort Hood that occurred in November 2009.  That report highlighted a number of problems at both the Department of Defense and the FBI and found "systematic failures in the Government's handling of the Hasan case."  I was troubled to hear some of the allegations contained in the report including that an analyst on a joint terrorism task force was not provided full access to a key FBI database simply because he was from a non-FBI agency.  I want to hear from the Director whether he agreed with some of these key findings, what is being done to correct any deficiencies in the way terrorism cases are reviewed, and whether information sharing has been improved

I also want to ask the Director some questions about FBI employee personnel matters.  I have long been concerned about the plight of whistleblowers at the FBI.  I appreciate that Director Mueller has made it a priority to instruct all employees of the FBI that retaliation against whistleblowers will not be tolerated.  I think this is an important message for employees to hear from the Director.  Unfortunately, that directive has not always been followed by agents in the field.  I find one case particularly troubling.

In 2007, the Department of Justice Inspector General issued a memorandum finding that a 30-year non-agent employee of the FBI, Robert Kobus, was retaliated against for protected whistleblowing.  The Inspector General found that "FBI Management in the New York Field Division improperly moved Kobus from the position of a senior administrative support manager to several non-supervisory positions."  One of those positions included being demoted to OSHA safety officer.  The retaliation was blatant and included moving his office to a cubicle on the vacant 24th floor of the FBI office building.  The Inspector General ultimately concluded that the decision to move him was in retaliation for disclosing wrongdoing, to the Special Agent in Charge of the Field Office, in this case time and attendance fraud by FBI agents.  This is exactly the type of retaliation against whistleblowers that should never occur

Despite these findings by the Inspector General, the matter was appealed by the FBI to the Department of Justice where the case has now languished for four years.  Four years is entirely too long for an employee to wait for an appeal.  What makes matters worse is that the underlying allegations occurred in 2005.  It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied.  In this case that couldn't be any clearer.  I asked the Attorney General about this case a year ago and just received a reply in December that failed to answer why it has taken so long to review the IG's findings.  I want to hear from Director Mueller what he thinks about this sort of retaliation and why the agents who retaliated against Kobus were promoted.

The Kobus case raises a number of questions about the Department of Justice's process for investigating and adjudicating FBI whistleblower complaints.  So, I am working on a request that I have shared with Chairman Leahy, and I'm hoping we can work together on this, but I want the Government Accountability Office to conduct a top to bottom review of the Department of Justice's process for dealing with FBI Whistleblowers.  Delays like the one in the Kobus case send a clear signal to potential whistleblowers that reporting wrongdoing will only land you in an expensive bureaucratic mess.  Because the DOJ Inspector General is part of the FBI whistleblower process, I feel it is necessary for an impartial arbiter like GAO to look at things and see what is and isn't working.  Given the significant budget deficits we face and the need to cut waste and fraud wherever possible, we can't send signals to whistleblowers that coming forward isn't worth the hassle.  I would hope all my colleagues would join me in this request to make sure the process is working.

Another area of concern I have relates to FBI employee misconduct.  In January of this year, internal FBI Office of Professional Responsibility documents were leaked to the press.  Those documents contained a number of shocking allegations about misconduct committed by FBI employees.  For example, the documents detailed FBI agents who were dismissed because they: were arrested for drunk driving, engaged in improper relationships with FBI informants, leaked classified information to reporters, sought reimbursement for expenditures they never made, and in one instance, bringing foreign nationals back into FBI space after hours.  These are troubling allegations and I am glad that a number of them were accompanied by the summary dismissal of those employees.  However, a couple of the cases raised an old concern I have about whether punishments are handed out uniformly.  For example, two of the cases that were reported in the media involved inappropriate relations between FBI agents and sources.  One agent was dismissed while another was simply given a 40-day suspension.  It appears from the documents that the only difference in the cases was that in one case, the inappropriate relationship also involved improper use of a government vehicle, while the other did not.  I want to know more about how these penalties are determined.  I think this is especially important to know in light of the fact that the Inspector General found in a May 2009 report that there is a perception among FBI employees that there is a double standard for discipline between higher ranking and lower ranking employees.

Director Mueller, over the past eight months I have been investigating systemic problems at the Philadelphia Public Housing Authority.  Outlandish salaries, sexual harassment settlements, and excessive legal billings just to name a few of the problems.  I want to express my appreciation regarding the FBI's ongoing investigation and recent seizure of expensive luggage purchased as gifts by the Philadelphia Public Housing Authority.  I hope the FBI follows through vigorously on any criminal violations that may have occurred at the Philadelphia Public Housing Authority.

Finally, I want to ask the Director about the fiscal 2012 Budget request that was submitted to Congress.  I continue to have concerns with the FBI's agency-wide case management system known as Sentinel.  This project was originally supposed to cost $400 million and be complete no later than 2010.  As it stands today, the prime contractor Lockheed Martin has been removed from the job by the FBI, the project continues, and the projected cost is over $450 million.  I want to know when this is going to end, how much more taxpayer money will be necessary, and how the FBI plans to maintain the older case management database as part of the new system.  After a decade of upgrading the system, not another dime of taxpayer money should be awarded until the FBI can prove the system will work and will be done on time.

There is a lot to cover so I look forward to Director Mueller's testimony and his responses to these important matters.  Thank you.