WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after learning that Congressman George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, would retire at the end of his term. Harkin and Miller were both elected to the U.S. House in 1974 and have worked together on numerous health, education, and labor initiatives over the years, most recently on legislation to expand access to high-quality early learning programs and a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.
“From ensuring education policies create opportunities for all students to fighting for strong labor policies to helping rebuild the middle class in America, working families had a strong voice in Washington as long as George was at the table. George is a great progressive voice who made it his life’s work to fight for policies that benefit children and families, which is advocacy that will continue long after he leaves Congress.
“We bonded as freshmen lawmakers when we traveled to Chile to shine the light on human rights abuses being carried out on innocent civilians by the dictator Pinochet. I knew then that George and I shared a commitment to protecting human rights around the globe. Since that time, we have watched our families grow up together. Ruth and I consider George and Cynthia dear friends.
“We have shared many accomplishments over the years and I am hopeful that we will have a couple more policy victories to add to that list before we both leave office.”