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Speaker Hastert Announces Page Program Tip Line Number

October 5, 2006 | House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert today announced the official Page tip line number. Following is his statement:

"As the Speaker I take responsibility for everything in the building. The buck stops here. The safety and security of the students in the Page program is imperative.

"That is why I directed the Clerk of the House to establish a hotline for reporting any information concerning Pages or the Page program. As of this morning, the Clerk of the House has activated the tip-line. It is for anyone with information regarding the Foley matter. This number can also be used to report any other concerns regarding the Page program.

"The Page program tip line is 866-348-0481."

The greeting for the tip line is as follows:

"Thank you for calling the tip line for the United States House of Representatives. If you have information regarding former Congressman Mark Foley and his contacts or communications with any current or former House Pages, or any other information or concern about the House Page program, please leave your information at the tone. Please speak slowly and clearly, and please spell out any names to which you refer. You are encouraged, but not required, to leave your name and contact information. You should be aware of any information you provide may be referred to federal and state law enforcement authorities and/or to House investigative authorities. Thank you for your call."

"All information will be collected and maintained. Information concerning the Foley matter or other similar activities will be shared with the appropriate authorities. Experts and professionals will be consulted who specialize in these kinds of matters for recommendations on the monitoring, handling and response to these calls."

 


Statements on Congressman Mark Foley:

October 2, 2006 | As the chairman of the House Page Board, I have a responsibility to protect the students participating in the program and former participants. I have been honored to serve in this role and we have worked hard to make the Page program the best program possible.

In fact, the College Board recognized the Page program with an award for top honors in the preparation of students for college.

The instant messages Mark Foley reportedly sent to a former page are deplorable. When I learned of these instant messages last Friday from ABC News reports, the very thought of this behavior made me sick. Mark Foley should be ashamed.

The page program is a valuable part of this institution. Pages have played an important role in Congress' operation since the early 1800s. The integrity of the program must be maintained.

In recent years we have made many improvements including constructing a new page dorm with state of the art security measures. We've also increased adult supervision for them. In the wake of 9-11, we implemented new enhanced transportation and notification systems for the safety of pages. The safety and protection of our Pages has been a top priority in these changes and others.

Last week, I personally met with the current House Pages. I told them that we are committed to their safety and protection and that we will stay in constant contact with them.

In addition, as the Speaker said, we are setting up a 1-800 number which can be used to report ANY concerns and can be used by pages, former and current, and their family members or others with concerns.

In the days ahead, I will be working with members of the Page Board and others, from both inside and outside of the Congress, to make sure Pages are safe both when they are in charge and when they return home.

As the father of three boys, I am personally mindful everyday of just how difficult it is to protect our children, especially in the world of the internet and text messages. I am determined to do everything that we can to make sure that this kind of incident will never happen again.

 

September 29, 2006 |As chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.

In that email exchange, Congressman Foley asked about the former Page's well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph. When asked about the email exchange, Congressman Foley said he expressed concern about the Page's well-being and wanted a photo to see that the former Page was alright.

Congressman Foley told the Clerk and me that he was simply acting as a mentor to this former House Page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact with this former House Page to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We also advised him to be especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House Pages, and he assured us he would do so. I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional emails.

It has become clear to me today, based on information I only now have learned, that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct.

As Chairman of the House Page Board, I am working with the Clerk to fully review this incident and determine what actions need to be taken.

The House Page Program has been an integral part of the House of Representatives for many decades. Preserving the integrity of the House Page Program is of utmost importance to me and to the House of Representatives, and we intend to uphold and protect its values and traditions.

Headlines

Congressman Shimkus Visits Cypress School

September 1, 2006 | From Congressman Shimkus: I had the privilege to tour the new Cypress Elementary School building. The old school was severely damaged by an F-2 tornado on April 28, 2002. School began in the new building this school year. My staff had to opportunity to work with Superintendent Dennis Holland to help cut through the red tape of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) compliance division in order to help with the cost of building the new school. The new building is now complete with classrooms for each grade, science lab, state-of-the art computer lab as well as a cafeteria and gymnasium. The locker rooms in the gymnasium also serve as safe rooms in the event of severe weather. While the tornado that damaged the old building was a tragic event, the new school building provides many wonderful learning opportunities for the students. I was pleased with the new building and look forward to continuing to work with the staff at Cypress Elementary School.


Money Secured for Scott AFB in FY 2007 Funding

June 21, 2006 | Congressmen John Shimkus and Jerry Costello announced today that they have secured $33.5 million to maintain the C-9 airplanes and begin the new C-40 mission of the 932nd Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base. The funds are part of the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2007. More »

Illinois Legislators Support Increased Funding for Ethanol

June 16, 2006 | United States Senators Richard Durbin (D, Illinois) and Barack Obama (D, Illinois), Congressmen John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) and Jerry Costello (D, Illinois-12), and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert have co-signed a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy supporting additional alternative fuels research at the existing National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. More »

Rep. Shimkus Announces Funding for Three TTHUD Projects

June 14, 2006 | Congressman John Shimkus is pleased to announce federal funding for three projects in his district that were funded in a House passed appropriations bill. The Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 5576) funds many functions of government. More »

Shimkus Supports Higher Fines for Indecent Broadcasts

June 7, 2006 | Congressman John Shimkus voted to increase the fines for broadcasting indecent material by tenfold. The House approved a bill on June 7 that previously passed the Senate, so now President Bush has the opportunity to sign this measure into law. More »

Latvian President Addresses Joint Session of Congress

June 7, 2006 | Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Republic of Latvia addressed a Joint Session of the United States Congress. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Baltic Caucus, Congressman Shimkus had the honor of escorting her into the House Chamber prior to the start of the speech. Full Text of Speech»

Shimkus Supports Higher Fines for Indecent Broadcasts

June 7, 2006 | Congressman John Shimkus voted to increase the fines for broadcasting indecent material by tenfold. The House approved a bill on June 7 that previously passed the Senate, so now President Bush has the opportunity to sign this measure into law. More »

Congressman Shimkus Secures Money for Projects in Illinois' 19th District

May 25, 2006 | Congressman John Shimkus is pleased to announce that several projects of benefit to the 19th District were funded in the Energy and Water Appropriations Act passed by the U.S. House May 24. These projects must still be approved by the Senate and signed into law before the funds are available.
More »

Congressman Shimkus Introduces Coal to Liquid Tax Credit Bill

May 23, 2006 | Congressman John Shimkus introduced legislation that would extend the existing alternative fuel tax credits to liquid fuel derived from coal. "While we are facing record high oil prices, all fuel prices have risen as well. This has caused increased transportation cost on all goods and other products derived from petroleum," Shimkus explained. More »

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