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March 6th, 2009

Iowa Based CBE Group to Lose Jobs as Obama, Braley, and Boswell Cave to Union Pressure

090114-geithner-vmed240pwidecIowa based CBE Group is a privately owned accounts-receivable management company. One of its clients is the federal government, who uses the CBE Group and two other similar companies to collect delinquent taxes.

These companies were awarded government contracts in 2006, which allowed them to attempt to collect back-taxes that the IRS was not actively pursuing. CBE and the other firms are compensated by keeping 22 to 24 percent of the delinquent tax money they collect.

While the contracts were awarded in 2006, full implementation of the program was to occur in 2008. With a new, union-friendly administration in place, the National Treasury Employees Union has successfully lobbied Congress to include language in the Omnibus Appropriations Act that would do away with this program.

If the bill is passed, at least 60 jobs will be lost. When CBE was awarded the contracts, company president Tom Peneluna said that the program would need to employ 200 people once fully operational.

Last week, Congressman Braley and Congressman Boswell, who represent areas where CBE Group has offices in the state, failed to convince their collogues to remove the provision from the bill that would eliminate the program. Both Braley and Boswell then voted for the bill. As the bill made its way to the Senate, Senator Grassley and Senator Harkin asked Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner to spare the program and allow it to be fully implemented.

Last night, Grassley sent out a memo saying that Geithner told him that the program would be eliminated.

Grassley released the following statement, “The administration has decided that after spending nearly a trillion dollars in the stimulus bill to keep people working across the country, they are going to cut a program that provides jobs to hundreds of people during the middle of a recession, including 60 in Iowa. It’s hard to believe that after worrying so much about keeping people employed, the administration has chosen this route. I told the Secretary that they could hire all the people they wanted for the NTEU, but the IRS was never going to get the money that was owed to the federal treasury because IRS policy is to not go after debts under a certain amount.”

The National Treasury Employees Union has been opposed to the program since its conception. They argued since these companies are paid based on the money they collect, they will use much more aggressive tactics than IRS employees. However, as Grassley pointed out, the IRS was never even going to attempt to collect these types of back taxes. The NTEU is the largest federal-sector union in the country.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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