Chair's Press

06.11.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Markup: “Strengthening America’s Schools Act”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today we will mark up the Strengthening America's Schools Act of 2013, a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. Our actions today are crucial and long overdue-the last reauthorization of this law expired in 2007. With this mark-up, we have the opportunity to improve on the lessons of the past and ensure a brighter future for our children and the nation. "I will say, at the outset, what is obvious to everyone. The bill we are conside… Continue Reading


06.11.13

Praise for Harkin Bill to Fix ‘No Child Left Behind’

WASHINGTON, D.C.-As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee prepares to mark up the Strengthening America's Schools Act (SASA), Chairman Tom Harkin's bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), advocates and experts have expressed support for the bill's provisions: "We are writing to thank you for pursuing the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and for the significant improvements made in the Strengthening Am… Continue Reading


06.10.13

Harkin, Alexander, Burr, Casey Tout New Public Health Law Giving Obama Administration Ability to Respond Quickly to Burgeoning Middle East Respiratory Disease

Under Emergency Health Designation for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Administration Can Better Prepare and Respond to MERS New Authority Granted in Bipartisan Reauthorization of Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with Committee members Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA), today applaud… Continue Reading


06.10.13

Senators Urge Nickelodeon to Prohibit Advertisements for Unhealthy Food and Beverages Targeted to Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) - joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) - sent a letter to Nickelodeon and its parent company Viacom urging them to help address the nation's childhood obesity epidemic by barring unhealthy food and beverage advertisements. One year ago, the Walt Disney Corporation announced that it would no longer host advertisements on any of its med… Continue Reading


06.10.13

Harkin Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Enactment of the Equal Pay Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today on the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Equal Pay Act. "Five decades after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, we are reminded that much work remains to realize the basic principle that men and women deserve equal pay for equal work. Today, an American woman makes only 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes, a… Continue Reading


06.06.13

Harkin Statement on Senate Failure to Adopt Student Loan Interest Rate Fix

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and co-author of the Student Loan Affordability Act, released the following statement after Republicans filibustered the measure: "We are less than four weeks away from July 1st, when the interest rate on Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. As this deadline draws closer, students and their families need Congress to take action. The rising cost of higher ed… Continue Reading


06.05.13

Harkin, Mikulski, Burr, Alexander Introduce Bipartisan Reauthorization of Child Care and Development Block Grant to Help American Families Access Safe, Affordable, Quality Child Care

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was joined today by Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging,and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee, to announce that they have introduced the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2013, which reauthorizes and updates the CCDBG program. This … Continue Reading


06.04.13

Harkin, HELP Committee Democrats Introduce Bill to Prepare All Children for Success and Fix “No Child Left Behind”

Bill to Reauthorize ESEA Would Provide America's Children with the Skills They Need to Prepare for College and Careers All 11 HELP Committee Democrats Sign on as Original Sponsors of Bill Introduced by Chairman Harkin, the "Strengthening America's Schools Act of 2013" Harkin Announces That HELP Committee Will Begin Markup on Tuesday, June 11 WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Stren… Continue Reading


05.31.13

Harkin Statement on Forthcoming Senate Vote on Proposal to Keep Federal Stafford Loans Affordable

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the forthcoming Senate vote on the Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013, a fully paid-for bill to maintain the current interest rate on federal subsidized Stafford loans for more than 7 million undergraduate students. Harkin introduced the bill along with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). "In just o… Continue Reading


05.23.13

Harkin Statement on House Vote That Would Make College More Expensive for Millions of American Students

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would make college more expensive for millions of American students. In an effort to protect taxpayers and shield college students from a sharp increase in federal Stafford loan interest rates, Harkin, along with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Majority Leader Harry Re… Continue Reading


05.23.13

Harkin Reintroduces FIT Kids Act to Combat Childhood Obesity and Promote Physical Activity

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today reintroduced the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act), a bill to combat childhood obesity and improve the well-being of all students by supporting improved measurement of physical activity and physical education at the state, local, and school level and by strengthening physical education programs in schools throughout the country. The bill's intro… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of a Full Slate of Five Nominees to the NLRB

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Committee's approval of five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). "Today's vote is a step in the right direction. Unless the Senate acts to confirm all five nominees to the NLRB, the Board will effectively shut down in August. That would be devastating to the workers and businesses that rely on the Board each and eve… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Passage of the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Committee's passage of S. 959, the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act, and S. 957, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act. "I am pleased that the HELP Committee has come together in a bipartisan effort to protect the public health from tainted and adulterated prescription drugs. These bills will enable Americans to b… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Release Report Outlining Urgent Need for Clear Regulatory Guidelines of Drug Compounders as Committee Approves Legislation

Bipartisan Report Finds That Public Health Risks from Large-Scale Drug Compounding Persist; Fall 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Stemming From the New England Compounding Center's Tainted Steroid Injections Sickened More than 700 and Killed More Than 50 Since Last Fall's Meningitis Outbreak, at Least 48 Large-Scale Compounders Have Produced and Sold Drugs That Were Contaminated or Created in Unsafe Conditions "Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act" Would Clarify FDA Authori… Continue Reading


05.20.13

Harkin, Alexander Initiate Committee Investigation into Pension Lenders

WASHINGTON-Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, have sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), requesting documentation and information that could help the Committee identify Americans who may have been targeted by lenders offering lump-sum payments, with potentially illegally high rates of interest repayment, in exchange for a stake in the borrower's pension… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security: “Improving Retirement Security: Expanding Coverage to All Americans”

"It's great to be here today to talk about the retirement crisis and my proposal to solve it by expanding pension coverage. "But before I get into my remarks, I want to thank Lisa Mensah and the team at Aspen for sponsoring this event as well as the other speakers here today. I would also like to commend my friend Congressman Neal for his thought leadership on retirement issues. He is working hard as a member of the Ways and Means Committee to solve the retirement crisis and help rebuild e… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) at the HELP Committee Hearing: “National Labor Relations Board Nominations”

"Over 75 years ago, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act, guaranteeing American workers the right to form and join a union and bargain for a better life. For both union and non-union workers alike, the Act provides essential protections - it gives workers a voice, and the ability to join together and speak up for fair wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions. These rights are one of the pillars of our middle class, ensuring that the people who do the real work in this cou… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of Thomas Perez to Serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the HELP Committee's approval of Thomas Perez's nomination to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor: "Throughout his exemplary career, Thomas Perez has demonstrated his professionalism, his integrity, and his commitment to public service. At the Maryland Department of Labor, he skillfully built coalitions between workers and the business com… Continue Reading


05.15.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Introduce Legislation to Clarify Oversight Responsibilities for Pharmaceutical Compounding, Ensure Safety for Consumers

'Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act' Preserves States' Primary Role in Traditional Pharmacy Regulation; Clarifies FDA Authority Over Those Making Sterile Products Without Prescriptions and Shipping Across State Borders Harkin and Alexander Announce That HELP Committee Will Convene for an Executive Session on Wednesday, May 22, to Consider New Legislation-Along With A Proposal to Strengthen and Improve the Drug Distribution Supply Chain WASHINGTON, D.C.-Chairman of the S… Continue Reading


05.15.13

Senators Introduce Fully Paid-For Legislation to Prevent Student Loan Rate Hike

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to protect taxpayers and shield college students from a sharp increase in federal Stafford loan interest rates, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), are introducing a fully paid-for bill to ensure student loan interest rates for more than 7 million undergraduate students do not dramatically increase this year. The current … Continue Reading

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