Ranking Member's Press

10.24.14

Harkin Marks 20th Anniversary of Bill to Protect Consumers, Clarify Regulation for the Dietary Supplement Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement marking the 20th anniversary of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) this week. The law, championed by Harkin and Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), aimed to help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protect consumers from unsafe dietary supplements and boost FDA's accountability. "As more Americans take charge of their health, it is critical that we provide them access to safe, properly labeled … Continue Reading


10.07.14

Harkin Statement on Department of Labor Announcement Concerning Implementation of Home Care Labor Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in response to the announcement that the Wage and Hour Division at Department of Labor will move forward with implementing the final rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act to home care workers, but will also institute temporary delays in administrative enforcement. The rule will go in… Continue Reading


10.07.14

Fourteen Attorneys General Support Harkin, Durbin, Cummings Bill to Improve Federal Oversight of For-Profit College Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was joined by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) today in announcing that fourteen Attorneys General from around the country have expressed support for their legislation to improve coordination between federal agencies that oversee the for-profit college industry. Given the financial collapse of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which has left 7… Continue Reading


10.03.14

Harkin Calls for Omnibus Bill When Senate Returns

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of both the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (the LHHS subcommittee) and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement calling for an Omnibus bill to provide sufficient resources to all federal agencies on the frontlines of controlling Ebola and other infectious diseases as well as lifting the post-sequester caps that return next … Continue Reading


10.03.14

Harkin: September Jobs Report Shows Continued Economic Growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement on the September employment report showing that the economy added 248,000 jobs last month, with the national unemployment rate continuing to decrease, falling from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent, its lowest point in six years. "Today's jobs report is a strong reminder that our economy is on the right track. With 55 straight months of j… Continue Reading


09.30.14

Harkin Statement On CDC Announcement of Ebola Case in Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of both the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (the LHHS subcommittee), released the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that an individual who had traveled recently in Liberia has been diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, Texas, the first Ebola case diagnosed in the Uni… Continue Reading


09.24.14

Democratic House, Senate Leaders Release New Report Identifying Hundreds of Tobacco, E-Cigarette Ads and Images in Magazines with High Teen Readership

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined seven House and Senate Democrats in releasing a new report that found that hundreds of tobacco advertisements and images glorifying smoking and e-cigarettes appear in magazines with large teen readerships. The report finds that "tobacco companies continue to glamorize smoking in advertisements in magazines with large youth readership" and that "magazines freq… Continue Reading


09.19.14

Harkin, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Worthless and Predatory Degree Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released the following statement on legislation they introduced this week that would crack down on worthless degrees peddled by unscrupulous academic institutions, many of which arefor-profit colleges. The legislation would ensure that students are not lured into investing time and money in degrees that leave them saddled with debt but… Continue Reading


09.19.14

Harkin Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Muscular Dystrophy Bill, Which Now Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement applauding Senate passage of the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education (MD-CARE) Amendments of 2014. In July, this bill was passed by the HELP Committee and the companion bill was passed by the House. When the MD-CARE Act and the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act ar… Continue Reading


09.18.14

Harkin Introduces Three Bills As Part of “Access for All” Agenda for Americans with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a new report on an investigation he called for regarding the barriers that people with disabilities face as they seek to rise out of poverty and enter the middle class. To implement the recommendations made by the report, Harkin today also introduced three new bills as part of his "Access for All" agenda to help Americans with disabilities achieve economi… Continue Reading


09.18.14

Harkin, Alexander, Reed, Isakson Applaud Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Help Prevent Skin Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) applauded Senate passage of the bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act just hours after it was passed by the HELP Committee. "I am pleased that the Senate took swift action to approve the bipartisan and critically important Sunscreen Innovation Act," said Harkin (D-IA). "… Continue Reading


09.18.14

Harkin Investigation Finds Persistent Barriers to Economic Success for Americans with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.-At the Senate HELP Committee hearing "Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities," Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled a report that he instructed his HELP Committee staff to investigate the barriers that people with disabilities face as they seek to rise out of poverty and enter the middle class. The findings of the Harkin HELP Co… Continue Reading


09.17.14

Harkin, Alexander Praise HELP Committee Passage of Education Research Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) praised the HELP Committee's passage of the Strengthening Education through Research Act, a bill that would reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA). This legislation authorizes funding for the research activities of the U.S. Department of Education, including the Institute for Education Sciences, and will help t… Continue Reading


09.17.14

HELP Committee Approves NLRB Nominee Sharon Block

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after the HELP Committee approved the nomination of Sharon Block to serve as Member of the National Labor Relations Board with bipartisan support. "Today, the HELP Committee took action to approve the nomination of Sharon Block to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board." Harkin said. "A strong economy starts with fair … Continue Reading


09.17.14

Harkin Statement on Senate Failure to Vote on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today following the objection of a Republican Senator to proceed to a vote and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) - a treaty that builds upon the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to create a framework for disability rights laws in other countries. Harkin is the Senate author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and has led the fight in the Senate to ratify the CRPD.… Continue Reading


09.17.14

Harkin Applauds Passage of Bipartisan HELP Bills to Strengthen Health Care, Improve Pensions

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today applauded approval of three bipartisan HELP Committee bills. The Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014 and S.2511, a bill to amend the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, were both approved by the Senate and the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 was approved by the House. Led by Harkin as Chairman, all thr… Continue Reading


09.16.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) In Dual Role as Chair, Harkin will lead a Joint Hearing of the Senate HELP Committee and LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee:

*As Prepared for Delivery* "In March of this year, public health officials reported an outbreak of Ebola virus in the West African country of Guinea. Unlike past Ebola outbreaks that have been efficiently and effectively stopped, this outbreak has spread in ways that are potentially catastrophic for the world. Due to the gravity of the situation and the danger it poses not only to the affected region but also to the United States, I have taken the unusual step of calling together this joint hea… Continue Reading


09.12.14

Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement Reached to Reform Child Care & Development Block Grant Program

WASHINGTON, D.C.-A bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders today announced a legislative agreement to improve and reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. Negotiated by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Representative John Kline (R-MN), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Representatives George Miller (D-CA), Todd Rokita (R-IN), and David Loebsack (D-IA), and Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Burr (R-NC), the agreement will enhance transparency, strengthen health and safe… Continue Reading


09.12.14

Harkin Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan HELP Committee Bill to Strengthen Emergency Medical Services for Children

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, applauded Senate passage of the bipartisan Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014. The bill would continue the 30 years of care provided through the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program and ensure that the entire spectrum of emergency medical services (EMS) can be provided to children and adolescents no matter where they… Continue Reading


09.10.14

Harkin Introduces Bills to Support High-Quality Education for Children with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced two bills that seek to fulfill the promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that ensures access to a free, high-quality public education for children with disabilities. The IDEA Full Funding Act and the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act seek to achieve this goal by strengthening the financial support to schools and parents to ensure st… Continue Reading

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