US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin Statement on the President’s Economic Speech

"The President is right: we must reverse the trends eroding the middle class in this country”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement responding to a speech delivered by President Obama on the economy today.  Harkin, as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, authored the Rebuild America Act, far-reaching legislation that called for investments in areas like education and workforce training, our nation's infrastructure, manufacturing jobs, and retirement security, as well as an increase in the federal minimum wage.  Many of those policies were discussed in the President’s speech today. 

“President Obama delivered a strong message today that our economy works best when it works from the middle out.  Yet too many of my colleagues remain focused on even more tax cuts for millionaires and large corporations paid for by indiscriminate cuts to programs that undergird the middle class. That agenda has failed hardworking families for too long, and, as the President said, we must reverse the trends eroding the middle class in this country. I have proposed a number of those steps we should take as part of the Rebuild America Act.

“In the coming months, I will continue to push for policies to create jobs, increase workers’ paychecks, spur economic growth, and make it easier for families to get ahead.  The last thing we need is for House Republicans to hold the American people hostage while they demand to privatize Medicare and cut Social Security.  I am heartened by what I heard from the President today and I look forward to working with him to strengthen the American middle class."

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