Ranking Member's Press

02.26.14

Harkin Welcomes CFPB Action Against For-Profit College ITT’s Private Lending Policies

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 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services alleging predatory lending tactics. The high-interest rate ITT private loan programs at issue in the lawsuit were first exposed at Harkin's June 2011 HELP Committee hearing on the for-profit college sector. Harkin also released … Continue Reading


02.26.14

Harkin, Alexander Co-Host Monthly Lecture Series on Deaf Community and Culture

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Last evening, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) co-hosted the first in a series of monthly lectures for senators and their staff on the deaf community and its culture. The lectures will take place over the next five months and are intended to help senators and their staffers expand their knowledge of deaf culture and learn some basic phrases in American Sign Language (ASL) to more effectively communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors to their o… Continue Reading


02.26.14

Harkin, Boxer, Durbin, Blumenthal, Markey Introduce Legislation To Protect Kids From E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today in introducing the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act to prohibit the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens. "When it comes to the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens, it's 'Joe Camel' all over again. … Continue Reading


02.25.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Examining Mental Health: Treatment Options and Trends”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today, our Committee will examine treatment options and trends for mental health conditions. We held a successful hearing on mental health issues last year, and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to continue the dialogue on this important topic with my colleagues and our panel of expert witnesses. "Mental health is an issue I care deeply about, and I believe we must do everything possible to ensure that individuals with mental illness get the services they need and… Continue Reading


02.18.14

Harkin: The Economic Case for Raising the Minimum Wage Outweighs Criticisms

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued the following statement today following the release of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report regarding the minimum wage and its impact on the economy. Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the author, along with Congressman George Miller (D-CA), of legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. "Since the first minimum wage was enacted more than 75 years ago, opponents have argu… Continue Reading


02.18.14

Democratic Leadership, Health Law Authors Sign Amicus Brief Defending Use of Tax Credits on Federally-Run Marketplaces

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Democratic leadership and the chairs of the committees involved in drafting the Affordable Care Act have joined a brief defending the use of tax credits on federally-run health insurance Marketplaces in the case of Halbig v. Sebelius in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The brief, submitted by the Constitutional Accountability Center, was signed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), former Finance… Continue Reading


02.14.14

Harkin, Senate Democrats Urge Top Cigarette Retailer to Remove Tobacco Products From Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Following last week's announcement that CVS Caremark would begin removing tobacco products from its more than 7,600 U.S. stores, seven United States Senators today urged Walmart - the number one retailer of cigarettes in the country - to do the same, and stop selling tobacco products in its stores. Today's letter was signed by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee along with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barb… Continue Reading


02.13.14

GAO Report Highlights Troubling Practices at Schools Offering Campus Debit and Prepaid Cards; Harkin and Miller Urge Action to Protect Students

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) called for action to better protect students and increase transparency around debit and prepaid card agreements between schools and financial firms. The lawmakers' action follows the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report today that confirms a number of alarming practices that occur when colleges partner with financial institutions to market debit cards to students. Harkin chairs the Sen… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Harkin Applauds Enrollment Numbers Showing 3.3 Million Americans Have Signed Up For Affordable, Comprehensive Health Insurance Through State and Federal Marketplaces

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. Department of Health and Human Services released new enrollment figures for the federal marketplaces showing that nearly 3.3 million people enrolled in the federal marketplaces by February 1st, with January alone accounting for nearly 1.1 million plan selections in state and federal marketplaces. According to HHS, 2… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Harkin, Waxman, Welch Urge State Attorneys General to Bring E-Cigarettes Under Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) sent a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, and Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell. The lawmakers urged them to classify electronic cigarettes as cigarettes under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) to prevent e-cigarette companies from tar… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Harkin Investigation Finds Little to No Recourse for Families of Children Who Were Left in Isolation or Physically Restrained in Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C.-At a news conference in Washington today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled the findings of an investigation into the use of seclusion and restraints. Harkin's investigation found that under current law, a family whose child has been injured, experienced trauma, or died as a result of the use of seclusion or restraints in school has little or no recourse through school procedures or the courts. … Continue Reading


02.11.14

Livestream - Senate HELP Committee Chairman Harkin To Unveil New Report on Students Left in Isolation or Physically Restrained in Schools

Click the link below to watch a livestream of the event "Senate HELP Committee Chairman Harkin To Unveil New Report on Students Left in Isolation or Physically Restrained in Schools." http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=live&comm=help&filename=help021214… Continue Reading


02.11.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Hearing on the Nominations of Christopher P. Lu for Deputy Secretary of Labor and Portia Y. Wu for Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training”

"The nominations that we are here to discuss are critically important, both for the Department of Labor and for the countless working families across the country who depend on the programs, services, and protections provided by the Department. "As I have said on more than one occasion, of all the Executive Agencies, it may be the Department of Labor (DOL) that touches the lives of ordinary working Americans the most on a day-to-day basis. The Department of Labor ensures that every American re… Continue Reading


02.10.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) On Senate Floor: “Helping American Workers Retire Securely Is Good For the Whole Economy”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a floor speech today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, talked about the growing retirement crisis Americans face and the need to act now to solve it. Many Americans are vastly unprepared for retirement, with the retirement income deficit-the difference between what Americans need to have saved for retirement and what they have actually saved-estimated to be at least $6.6 trillion. Seventy-five millio… Continue Reading


02.10.14

Following CVS Announcement, Eight Senators Urge Drug Stores to Remove Tobacco Products From Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C.-On the heels of an announcement from CVS Caremark that the company plans to pull tobacco products from its more than 7,600 U.S. stores, eight senators-led by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)-urged other chain drug stores to follow CVS' example, remove tobacco products from their shelves, and promote tobacco cessation efforts in its stores. Senators Harkin, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-C… Continue Reading


02.06.14

Harkin: Senate Minority Blocks Unemployment Insurance Extension, Putting Politics Before Needs of Working Families

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked a restoration of federal unemployment insurance (UI) from moving forward. The proposal, which was fully paid-for, would have restored federal unemployment insurance for three months for the 1.7 million Americans who lost their benefits when they expired on December 28, in order to give Congress additional tim… Continue Reading


02.06.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Supporting Children and Families through High Quality Early Education”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "There truly is nothing more important than what we as a society do to support our youngest children, and I look forward to a robust discussion on that topic today. I would also like to say, at the outset, that I do not believe there is disagreement about ensuring that children who benefit from federal programs should be in high-quality settings that nurture their healthy development and growth. In fact, I know that Senator Alexander has a great deal of knowledge and … Continue Reading


02.05.14

Harkin Statement In Support of NLRB Proposed Rule to Modernize and Improve Union Election Process

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement today in support of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) proposal to reform and modernize the union representation process. "I applaud the NLRB's continued efforts to ensure that workers, unions, and employers have access to a fair, transparent, and efficient election process. The existing union election process is hampered by unnecess… Continue Reading


02.05.14

Harkin: Other Pharmacies Should Follow CVS Caremark Lead on Tobacco Products

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today welcomed the announcement that CVS Caremark will stop selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide. In 1998, Harkin introduced the first comprehensive, bipartisan bill to give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco. Harkin was an original cosponsor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave FDA that authority in 2009… Continue Reading


02.04.14

Harkin Joins Members of Congress in Call for Ban of E-Cigarettes on Capitol Grounds

WASHINGTON, D.C.-To ensure that visitors and staff are protected from the potential dangers posed by electronic cigarettes and their vapor, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) today called on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Office Building Commission to include electronic cigarettes in existing prohibitions … Continue Reading

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