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Energy Chairman Fred Upton’s dogging of White House over Solyndra may be about to bite him

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Rep. Fred Upton
(Caricature by DonkeyHotey)

GOP Sanctimony: Comeuppance Office

As we figured out last November, Property Vitality Committee and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), a ferocious critic of the Obama administration’s electricity policies, lobbied the Department of Electricity in 2009 to provide personal loan ensures for United Photo voltaic Ovonic. The firm is a subsidiary of Michigan-dependent Power Conversion Gadgets, a maker of rooftop photo voltaic panels. In a shift that stunned no 1 right after months of notices about lay-offs and a suspension of functions, ECD filed for bankruptcy Tuesday and explained it will market off USO. The Club for Expansion, the anti-tax team that is pondering assist for a principal challenge against Upton, has previously chastised Upton for looking for DOE backing for the organization.

Collectively with 13 of the other 16 members of the Michigan congressional delegation, Upton sent a letter in December 2009 to DOE Secretary Steven Chu seeking personal loan guarantees for numerous businesses, such as USO.

The ask for would be nothing at all out of the normal except the Republican congressman is engaged in a extended-working investigation of the guarantee for Solyndra, a California-primarily based company that acquired a $ 535-million ensure to fantastic fanfare, such as a visit from Obama. It went bankrupt in September 2011. Upton and other Republicans have been hounding the administration about it every because.

Just days right after Solyndra’s personal bankruptcy announcement. Upton said in a statement: “It is not the function of authorities to decide on winners and losers. Let us find out the lessons of Solyndra ahead of one more dollar goes out the door.” For the duration of a listening to in November, Upton excoriated Chu: “The quantity of red flags about Solyndra that were raised along the way—many from inside of DOE—and possibly dismissed or minimized by senior officials is amazing.”

Red flags apparently weren’t on Upton’s thoughts two several years ago. USO’s boueux ended up evidently visible well ahead of the congressman signed onto the letter seeking DOE backing. In truth, just two weeks before the letter was sent, USO had announced 425 lay-offs. The DOE did not give ECD with a loan ensure.

Club for Progress spokesman Barney Keller said Thursday: “Every single Republican supports an investigation of Solyndra—the issue is, wherever were you just before? Fred Upton has a extended file of supporting marketplace-distorting energy subsidies.”

The club’s body fat wallet could be a dilemma if it decides to open up it for previous state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, the tea social gathering-backed candidate who is difficult Upton in Michigan’s 6th District for the 2nd time. In 2010, Hoogendhyk missing by 11,000 votes, a margin of fourteen factors. To Hoogendyk’s $ 64,000, Upton invested nearly $ 1.five million on the main that calendar year. Upton already has $ one.7 million in the financial institution ready for the 2012 contest.

But if Hoogendyk can get the Club for Growth’s entire-throated endorsement (and its checkbook), numerous race watchers think that the Electricity and Commerce chairman could experience a significant menace arrive main day on Aug. 7.

“It almost certainly amazed Upton that Hoogendyk got that significantly assistance [in 2010], but it variety of exhibits you to what extent the Republican Get together has moved to the right here in Michigan and somewhere else,” Monthly bill Ballenger, a longtime Wolverine Condition political analyst who writes the publication Within Michigan Politics, stated yesterday.

On the Democratic facet, John Waltz, a disabled veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has filed to run against whoever emerges from the Republican major.

Every day Kos

Ethics Investigation Underway Of House Financial Services Chair On Insider Trading Allegations

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Since there are so few actual ethical lines for them to cross, imagine how bad it has to be by the time they actually get around to an investigation! And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s on both sides of the aisle:

The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to sources familiar with the case.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who holds one of the most influential positions in the House, has been a frequent trader on Capitol Hill, buying stock options while overseeing the nation’s banking and financial services industries.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative agency, opened its probe late last year after focusing on numerous suspicious trades on Bachus’s annual financial disclosure forms, the sources said. OCE investigators have notified Bachus that he is under investigation and that they have found probable cause to believe that insider-trading violations have occurred.

The case is the first of its kind involving a member of Congress. It comes at a time of intense public scrutiny of congressional ethics, with the House passing legislation Thursday to tighten rules against insider trading by lawmakers. The impetus for the legislation, a version of which passed in the Senate a week earlier, came from a “60 Minutes” report and a book mentioning Bachus’s trades, “Throw Them All Out,” by Peter Schweizer.

“The Office of Congressional Ethics has requested information and I welcome this opportunity to present the facts and set the record straight,” Bachus said in a statement issued Thursday by his spokesman, Tim Johnson.

Omar Ashmawy, OCE staff director and chief counsel, declined to comment. “The office does not confirm or deny whether an investigation is taking place.” Chief counsel for the House Ethics Committee, Dan Schwager, also declined to discuss the case. “The committee doesn’t comment on specific matters or allegations,” he said.

Crooks and Liars

President Obama Meets with President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Release Time: 
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama convened a meeting at the White House with the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss initiatives and policies to strengthen the economy, promote and accelerate job growth and bolster America’s competitiveness around the world.  The White House has recently implemented a number of Jobs Council recommendations, including policy steps to help support companies bringing jobs back to the United States and make government more efficient and effective.
“The Jobs Council has been critical in finding new ways to encourage the private sector to hire and invest in American competitiveness. I'm proud that we’ve taken action on a majority of the Council’s recommendations on issues ranging from insourcing to permitting to clean energy. But we also know there's a lot more work to do, which is why we’re committed to continuing to invest in strategies that support job growth.”
Today, the Council presented additional ideas to spur job growth in a new Jobs Council report available on the Council’s website at www.jobs-council.com.  Of the 35 Council recommendations that don’t require legislative action, the Administration has taken action on 33 and completed implementation on 16.  Today’s report highlights some of these implemented actions and focuses on new recommendations from three new streams of work focusing on long-term competitiveness:
• Invest in Our Future with Education and Innovation: This strategy is focused on ensuring Americans have the right education and skills to realize their full potential, and cultivating a vibrant innovation ecosystem that supports new ideas.
• Build on Our Strengths in Manufacturing and Energy: This strategy is focused on the manufacturing sector and how we can scale up and support clean energy while responsibly accessing unconventional supplies.
• Play to Win through Regulatory and Tax Reform: This strategy is focused on instituting longer term regulatory and corporate tax reform to support job creation.

Several Jobs Council member companies participated in the White House “Insourcing American Jobs” Forum, including DuPont and Intel, companies that are making increased investments in the United States that are creating thousands of jobs. At the Forum, the President announced that the Administration would move forward with the Jobs Council’s recommendation to expand support for the SelectUSA program out of the Department of Commerce, the first federal program to promote and facilitate investment in the U.S. in partnership with our states. Specifically, the President will be proposing, in his FY13 Budget, $ 12 million in new resources to increase SelectUSA to 35 full-time employees.  An expanded SelectUSA will:
• Build a comprehensive worldwide foreign direct investment promotion program: SelectUSA will be fully resourced to engage and assist potential investors to in the U.S. from all major global markets.
• Support more than 300 investment cases per year:  SelectUSA will build a case management team to oversee ombudsman and advocacy cases, enabling SelectUSA and its multi-agency investment team to work with states and cities to address issues that impede business investment.
• Host a SelectUSA Conference in Washington D.C. to boost investment in the U.S.:  The Administration will host a two day investment conference with all levels of government and businesses from around the world to attract companies to our shores, address issues companies face in choosing to invest in the U.S., and provide relevant information from federal agencies to support investment and insourcing jobs.

At today’s meeting, the President also discussed his recent announcement to ask Congress for the authority to reorganize the government to make it more efficient and effective, and work better for the American people. The legislative proposal to create “consolidation authority” would, for the first time, require that any reorganization proposal reduce the size of government or cut costs. The Jobs Council has consistently stressed the need to embrace policies that help entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes grow, compete and hire, while cutting costs and providing better customer service. On Friday, the President announced that, once granted consolidation authority by Congress, his first proposal would be to consolidate the six agencies focusing primarily on business and trade into a new Department with one mission: to spur job creation and expand the U.S. economy.  

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness was created to provide non-partisan advice to the President on ways to strengthen the economy and ensure the competitiveness of the United States.  The Jobs Council is made up of representatives of various sectors of the economy who offer diverse perspectives from employers and workers in the private sector on how the Federal Government can best foster growth, competitiveness, innovation, and job creation.

The Jobs Council held their first meeting at the White House on February 24th, focusing on finding new ways to promote growth, encourage hiring, educate and train our workers to compete globally, and attract the best jobs and businesses to the United States. The Council has held two additional meetings – in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina in June and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October.

White House.gov Press Office Feed

White House Strangles SOPA, Citing Censorship, Security Concerns

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

White House (150 sq).jpgIn a statement on behalf of the Obama administration this morning, a trio of senior officials including the nation’s Chief Technology Officer made clear that any anti-piracy legislation passing the President’s desk would not create risks of censorship, nor would it condone any alterations to the Internet’s domain name system that could invite security dangers.

The statement, which lists all three anti-piracy bills currently under discussion – the PROTECT-IP and OPEN bills in the Senate, and the SOPA bill in the House – is a loud warning shot indicating the President’s lack of support, and likely veto, of any legislation that requires tampering with the structure of the Internet to enable enforcement.


The statement was issued just after 8:00 am ET, and was signed by Office of Management and Budget IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and National Security Staff Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt. It comes in response to two online petitions created on the Whitehouse.gov Web site urging the President to veto SOPA “and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information.”
The statement, in its entirety, reads as follows:

Thanks for taking the time to sign this petition. Both your words and actions illustrate the importance of maintaining an open and democratic Internet.

Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act, and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support–and what we will not support. Any effective legislation should reflect a wide range of stakeholders, including everyone from content creators to the engineers that build and maintain the infrastructure of the Internet.

While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity. Any provision covering Internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing.

We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.

Let us be clear–online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs. It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders. That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders while staying true to the principles outlined above in this response. We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values.

This is not just a matter for legislation. We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.

So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right. Already, many members of Congress are asking for public input around the issue. We are paying close attention to those opportunities, as well as to public input to the Administration. The organizer of this petition and a random sample of the signers will be invited to a conference call to discuss this issue further with Administration officials and soon after that, we will host an online event to get more input and answer your questions. Details on that will follow in the coming days.

Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders. We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge.

Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation. Again, thank you for taking the time to participate in this important process. We hope you’ll continue to be part of it.

The statement indicates outright support for the position put forth by the petitioners, and suggests it would be their recommendation to the President as well that anti-piracy legislation in its current form should be vetoed.

That President Obama himself has not made a statement is probably intended to help him preserve his official position as against online piracy. However, this recommendation will very likely be heeded, and this move may slow, if not halt, any legislative activity on this matter for the remainder of this term in the Senate. In the House, which remains under Republican control, the SOPA bill (minus the court order provision that constituted its main enforcement provision) may still be voted on, but the chances of it facing reconciliation with a Senate version of the same bill are now extremely minimal.

An imminent show of dissent from the Administration against current anti-piracy legislation would likely have been the trigger for Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D – Vt.) decision Thursday to remove the court order provision from his PROTECT-IP bill. That led to Rep. Lamar Smith’s decision Friday to remove the corresponding provision from his SOPA bill.



President Obama Issues Call to Action to Invest in America at White House “Insourcing American Jobs” Forum

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Release Time: 
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Obama will call on companies across the nation to invest in America at an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum at the White House.  The forum will focus on the increasing trend of insourcing – where companies are bringing jobs back to the United States and making additional investments here in America.  The President, Vice President, members of the Cabinet and other Senior Administration Officials will lead a discussion on ways to encourage companies across the country to insource American jobs and help rebuild our economy for the future.

In the coming weeks, the President will put forward new ways to encourage American companies to seize this opportunity to increase investment here at home and bring jobs back to America.  In the coming weeks, the President will put forward new tax proposals to reward companies that choose to invest or bring back jobs to the United States, and to eliminate tax advantages for companies moving jobs overseas.

In prepared remarks, President Obama will say, “Today I am meeting with companies choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, best universities, and most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world: the United States of America.  That’s exactly the kind of commitment to country we need – especially now, at this make-or-break moment for the middle class.  And I’m calling on those businesses that haven’t brought jobs back to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work.  That’s how we’ll rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded – and a nation where those values live on.”

“Since day one, this Administration has been focused on encouraging investment and job creation here at home,” Vice President Biden added. “The business leaders coming here from across the country today have looked at the facts and concluded what the President and I have been saying all along: that America is the best place in the world to do business and create jobs.  We’re calling on other companies to follow their lead and bring jobs back to America—jobs that provide middle-class families not just with a paycheck, but with a fundamental sense of dignity.”

In conjunction with the forum, the White House today released a report that details the emerging trend of “insourcing” and how companies are increasingly choosing to invest in the United States.  For example, real business fixed investment has grown by about 18% since the end of 2009. In the past two years, 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created, while manufacturing production has increased by about 5.7 percent on an annualized basis since its low in June of 2009, its fastest pace in a decade. In addition, continued productivity growth has – as several outside analysts have noted – made the United States more competitive in attracting businesses to invest and create jobs by reducing the relative cost of doing business compared to other countries. The full report can be found HERE.
While other countries often advocate at the national level for business investment, the United States has historically left this activity to the states.  The President launched the SelectUSA program in 2011 to address this critical gap, creating the first federal program to promote and facilitate U.S. investment in partnership with our states.  To build on early success, the President will be proposing, in his FY13 Budget, $ 12 million in new resources to increase SelectUSA to 35 full-time employees.  An expanded SelectUSA will:

• Build a comprehensive worldwide foreign direct investment promotion program: SelectUSA will be fully resourced to engage and assist potential investors to the U.S. from all major global markets.

• Support more than 300 investment cases per year:  SelectUSA will build a case management team to oversee ombudsman and advocacy cases, enabling SelectUSA’s and its multi-agency investment team to work with states and cities to address issues that impede business investment. 

• Host a SelectUSA Conference in Washington D.C. to boost investment in the U.S.:  The Administration will host a two day investment conference with all levels of government and businesses from around the world to attract companies to our shores, address issues companies face in choosing to invest in the U.S., and providing relevant information from federal agencies to support investment and insourcing jobs. 

As a part of the administration’s ongoing We Can’t Wait efforts, the administration also announced several common-sense steps it has taken to incentivize insourcing:

• Building use of SBA’s International Trade Loan program to support small businesses seeking to insource. The Small Business Administration will launch an effort using its existing authority to educate businesses about opportunities to access insourcing loans through the SBAs International Trade Loan program, which provides generous loan support (loans up to $ 5 million and a guarantee up to 90 percent) for small businesses that are trying to access foreign markets or are adversely impacted by imports. While many small businesses that are insourcing are eligible for these loans, few have taken advantage of the program.  SBA will expand outreach efforts around this product by informing small businesses across the country of their eligibility for this opportunity and helping them apply for loans to bring production back home. 

• Launching a partnership between Commerce and the State Department to promote investment in 10 priority countries through the Foreign Commercial Service supported by the U.S. Embassies. This pilot effort will dedicate resources from Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) to investment promotion in 10 pilot countries representing 30% of foreign direct investment in the United States, expanding to cover 25 countries in 2013 representing roughly 90% of FDI.  U.S. Ambassadors will lead these efforts, engaging officials from State and other in country officials to assist investment promotion through business outreach, hosting ‘investment missions’ with governors and mayors, and connecting foreign firms to Select USA services.

• Increasing support for states’ efforts to promote investment through federal officials in Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) in more than 100 cities. Officials will serve as a local link for state economic development officials and Select USA services to ensure federal advocacy for state efforts and address any federal issues requiring rapid resolution.

These efforts build on previous actions by the administration to support efforts by businesses to create jobs and invest in the United States.  A fact sheet providing additional background on administration efforts to support increased investments in America can be found HERE.

A full list of attendees at the event today is below:

Members of the Cabinet and administration officials in attendance include Secretary John Bryson, Secretary Hilda Solis, Administrator Karen Mills, Ambassador Ron Kirk, Chair Fred Hochberg, NEC Director Gene Sperling, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, CEA Chairman Alan Krueger, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Nancy-Ann DeParle.

In addition, Governor John Kitzhaber, State of Oregon, Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta, Bob King, President, United Auto Workers, Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers, Hal Sirkin, Boston Consulting Group, Harold Moser, Founder, The Reshoring Initiative, James Manyika, Director, McKinsey Global Institute and Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, and Brad Jensen, Professor, Georgetown University will also be in attendance.

Below are the representatives from the companies in attendance at forum who have brought jobs back or decided to make significant investments in the United States:

Ford (Mark Fields, President of the Americas)
Ford's competitive labor agreement with its UAW partners is making it possible to build small cars profitably in the U.S., invest $ 16 billion here at home, and add 12,000 jobs in U.S. plants by 2015.   In fact, Ford is insourcing jobs from China, Japan and Mexico.  Instead of adding production for the Fusion in Mexico, Ford is planning to bring that additional work to its Flat Rock plant in Michigan. This insourcing effort will ensure the viability of a key assembly plant in the U.S. and add over 1,200 new jobs. Also, Ford has committed to in-source the production of F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks from a joint venture in Mexico to Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio.  This will make Ford the first auto manufacturer to produce Class 6 and Class 7 trucks in the U.S. and help retain nearly 2,000 jobs in that plant.

DuPont (Mark Vergnano, Executive Vice President)
As part of broad investments the company is making across its portfolio, DuPont started up a new $ 500 million plant last year to produce Kevlar anti-ballistic fiber near Charleston, South Carolina, that created over 500 construction and 135 full time jobs.  The company has made a recent $ 150 million investment in an expansion of its photovolatic film production in Circleville, Ohio creating over 70 jobs, and is investing some $ 150 million to expand agricultural research in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Delaware creating over 500 jobs.

Otis Elevator Company (Randy Wilcox, President, North America)
Otis, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, is the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of elevators, escalators and moving walkways.  Otis has invested in a major new plant in South Carolina that co-locates multiple functions from various geographic locations, including Mexico, into one highly efficient, state-of-the-art facility that will produce energy-efficient elevators for US and Canadian customers.  The facility will result in 360 new jobs in South Carolina and will enable close cooperation between our engineering, design, manufacturing and supply chain teams, which will promote innovation and achieve future cost savings in serving our customers throughout North America. Hiring for the plant will begin in the next few weeks.

Intel (Brian Krzanich, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Manufacturing and Supply Chain)
From 2002 to 2010, Intel spent $ 68 billion on U.S. operations, manufacturing and R&D.  75% of the company’s product manufacturing is conducted in the United States while 80% of its revenue is earned abroad.  The company employs 44,000 individuals in high tech high wage jobs across America and is the leading private sector employer in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico.  Most recently, in September 2011, Intel announced it was partnering with IBM and other companies as part of a $ 4.4 billion investment over five years to create a semiconductor research and development hub in New York to develop next-generation chip technology.  This combined investment will create about 4,400 jobs and result in the retention of another 2,500 existing jobs in upstate New York.

Siemens (Eric Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens USA)
Siemens, a global integrated technology company operating in the industry, infrastructure, energy and healthcare sectors, employs more than 60,000 people and has 100 manufacturing sites across the United States.  The company has invested nearly half a billion dollars in the United States over the past four years.  It has chosen to invest in the United States because of the proximity it provides to its customers, the ability to locate near highly skilled workers, access to infrastructure to power its plants, transport components, and move products to market and the ability to co-locate manufacturing and R&D.  Siemens invests nearly $ 50 million annually in training its U.S. workforce. Today, the Ex-Im Bank announced approval of export financing for power generation equipment supporting 825 jobs at Siemens’ North Carolina plant.  Ex-Im Bank financing helped Siemens win the sale against competition from Japan, Germany and Korea.

ThyssenKrupp (Christian Konig, President, ThyssenKrupp North America)
The new steel and stainless steel manufacturing and processing plant in Alabama opened by Germany-based ThyssenKrupp AG in December 2010 represents one of the biggest ever business investments in the USA by a foreign-domiciled company. ThyssenKrupp invested approximately $ 5 billion dollars in the overall complex, $ 3.6 billion of which went to facilities that will manufacture premium carbon steel and $ 1.4 billion of which toward stainless steel production.  Construction of the 3,700 acre site, approximately four times larger than New York’s Central Park, generated thousands of new construction jobs and close to $ 100 million in wages from the time it began in November 2007 until the plant’s opening in 2010.  The facility will employ 2,700 individuals and produce 5.1 million metric tons of premium carbon and stainless steel products per year when fully operational. In fiscal year 2010/2011, ThyssenKrupp USA subsidiaries employed approximately 19,100 individuals, an increase of nearly 2,000 employees compared to the year prior.

Rolls Royce (James Guyette, President and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America)
Last year, Rolls-Royce dedicated its Crosspointe, Virginia plant, the company’s newest facility in the world and its first facility in the U.S. built from the ground up.  The Crosspointe plant produces aero engine discs for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft and will result in a $ 500 million dollar investment and 500 jobs.  Rolls-Royce also recently held a hiring event at the company’s Indianapolis facilities to fill 87 openings for skilled machinists, jobs that are the result of insourcing work and a new contract with the United Auto Workers. 

Master Lock (John Heppner, CEO)
Master Lock is the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks and related security products.  Since mid-2010, Master Lock has returned approximately 100 jobs back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin that had previously been off-shored.  The decision to bring these jobs back was partially motivated by economic reasons related to increasingly higher labor and logistics costs in Asia, and further, ongoing labor availability challenges especially in the coastal areas of China, which have negatively impacted continuity in supply to its key customers.  Master Lock plans to continue bringing jobs back to Wisconsin, citing a more competitive overall cost structure, greater control, and the ability to provide better service to its customers.

Lincolnton Furniture (Bruce Cochrane, President and CEO)
Lincolnton Furniture, a small specialty furniture maker opening in North Carolina, is adding 130 new jobs and re-starting operations at a once vacant plant.  Bruce Cochrane, the current owner and CEO, comes from a family that manufacturer furniture in North Carolina.  The family business was sold and eventually the new owners moved manufacturing to China.  Bruce worked as a consultant in Asia for twelve years, importing furniture to the US.  Two years ago, he decided the time was right to start his own furniture company back in the US, in North Carolina, in the same plant his family once ran.  He recently opened operations and is adding 130 jobs to the area.

GalaxE. Solutions (Tim Bryan, Chairman and CEO)
GalaxE Solutions was established in 1990 and specialized in custom software application development for Fortune 50 corporations, with a particular focus on health care.  A little over a year ago the company created the "Outsource to Detroit" program that is a model for repatriating jobs back to the United States.  Key benefits include complex, quality solutions, geographic proximity to U.S. customers, cost efficiencies, and elimination of linguistic issues.  GalaxE. Solutions opened operations in Detroit in 2010 and, with 150 professionals on board, is well on its way to its goal of hiring 500 IT specialists.  The firm is also working with the area's universities and community colleges to train and retrain professionals for the future.

AGS (Joe LoParco, Co-President)
Canadian company AGS Automotive Systems was recently awarded a significant contract for the manufacture of automotive components.  Working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and other local Michigan agencies, AGS recently elected to make an investment in excess of $ 20 million to add new manufacturing capabilities to permit it to manufacture a portion of the bumper impact assemblies in Michigan.  The new business will likely represent in excess of $ 100 million in annual sales over the next 5 years and will enable AGS to retain approximately 50 jobs and create over 100 new jobs in Michigan.  Coordination between the company and local officials in Michigan was facilitated by SelectUSA, a Department of Commerce program that promotes business investment in the United States and launched by President Obama in June 2011.

KEEN (James Curleigh, CEO)
KEEN manufactures original hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks. In 2010, KEEN decided to build a factory near their headquarters in Portland, Oregon to create competitive advantages in the market,  including production capacity and agility, quality and delivery assurance, duty and transportation reduction, costing and commodity expertise, training and development, and intellectual and innovation protection.  The modern factory relies on skilled labor and improved automation to design, test, and manufacture the best of ‘built in America’ Footwear.  The company has created 20 jobs initially and can increase capacity by adding more jobs and shifts based on increased demand.  They have also used this factory to launch a new category of work boots – built in America for American workers – called KEEN Utility.

Chesapeake Bay Candle (Mei Xu, Co-Owner and President)
Chesapeake Bay Candle is in the process of hiring 100 workers to staff its new 117,000 square foot plant in Maryland that will produce the company’s signature candles.  The plant represents the company's first expansion in the United States in 16 years and will supplement existing facilities in China and Vietnam.  Mei Xu, the Co-Owner and President of the company, has said that she believes consumers both in the United States and abroad are willing to pay a premium for products manufactured in America.

NOVO 1 (Mary Murcott, CEO)
Since 1987, NOVO 1 has been dedicated to tailoring contact center solutions to support clients’ business goals in building customer relationships and growing their brands. NOVO 1’s Smart Desktop Solutions and Customer Obsession Program, incorporate game-changing technology and top 1% industry best- practices to design customized solutions to provide ideal customer experiences.  Last year, NOVO 1 officials announced they were opening a 30,000 square foot customer contact facility in the Eisenhower Business Center in Denison, Texas. They will employ up to 300 people over the next three years and are operational as of September.  They also opened a new office in 2010 in Holland, Michigan, where 300 people are currently employed.

White House.gov Press Office Feed

Elin Nordegren: I’m So Rich, I’m Building the Same House I Knocked Down

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Elin Nordegren is SO prosperous — she’s generally developing a replica of the multimillion dollar estate she knocked down.TMZ has acquired renderings Elin submitted to the Palm Seashore County Dept. of Organizing, Zoning &amp Developing.  Evaluate the&hellip

Elin Nordegren: I am So Rich, I’m Constructing the Exact same Property I Knocked Down


Intern Picks: Must-See White House Videos of 2011

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

All week, we've been sharing some highlights from 2011. Now it's time for another special list.

After much debate, the interns in the White House Office of Digital Strategy have decided on their 10 must-see videos of 2011. These funny, memorable, inspirational—and even quirky—videos highlight the best behind-the-scenes moments at the White House and feature sensational musical performances, holiday preparations, civil rights leaders, impressive young Americans, and more.

Take a closer look inside the White House and see the behind-the-scenes footage that you don’t want to miss.  For even more White House videos from 2011 and years past , visit Youtube.com/WhiteHouse.

10. Smart Youngsters Saving the World: Google Science Fair

This October, President Obama welcomed the winners of the first-ever Google Global Science Fair to the White House. Hear the stories of the three remarkable, young, American women who swept the awards and find out what the journey to success has been like.

Don’t Miss: Cancer research, air quality control, and chicken marinades…unlocking scientific discoveries at the age of 14!

9. The First Lady Rocks to Beyonce

In May, First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to Alice Deal Middle School to join students in a Lets Move! Flash Workout. More than 600 schools across the country participated in similar workouts at the same time.

Don’t Miss: A special tribute to Beyonce’s dance moves from our very own First Lady, Michelle Obama. 


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US House Of Representatives… Is A Rogue Site?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

As the US House of Representatives continues to push for SOPA to help go after foreign “pirates,” it appears that some folks at home were doing their own “research,” in a way. TorrentFreak, using the YouHaveDownloaded.com tool, have matched up the IP addresses owned by the US House of Representatives, and noticed that they’re downloading plenty of material that’s likely to be infringing. There are a lot of books, but also software like Microsoft Windows, and even some porn.

Of course, there are lots of people who work at the House of Representatives, and there is free WiFi for guests. But, chances are that, like pretty much everywhere else, sometimes people just think it’s easier to get the content they want through file sharing. And some of those people work in Congress.

So when do we get to see the House of Representatives get listed as a “rogue site”?

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Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate regarding the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012

Sunday, December 25th, 2011
Release Time: 
For Immediate Release


December 23, 2011 

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)

In accordance with section 5 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, I hereby designate for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism all funding (including the rescission of funds) so designated by the Congress in the Act pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended, as outlined in the enclosed list of accounts.

The details of this action are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 



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Behind the Scenes Roundup: Holidays at the White House

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

The holidays are a very special time at the White House, from the magnificent decorations in every room to the festive celebrations held throughout the month of December. This year’s holiday theme, “Shine, Give, Share,” honors members of the military and their families for all that they do and sacrifice for our nation. The décor throughout the White House, hung with care by a team of volunteers from 37 different states, reflects the theme and pays tribute to our service members and their loved ones.

We pulled together a roundup of some of our favorite videos that take you inside the White House during this special time of year.

Watch a time lapse video of volunteers transforming the White House over a long weekend.

A closer look at how the White House and Naval Observatory, the Vice President’s official residence, put military families at the center of their holiday celebrations

Meet “The Littlest Bo,” and learn more about the Bo topiaries created as part of the seasonal decor

For more holiday coverage, visit our 2011 holiday page.

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