Ranking Member's Press

02.04.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Nomination of Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy to serve as Surgeon General”

"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama's nominee to be the next U.S. Surgeon General. As the 'Nation's Doctor,' the Surgeon General serves as our nation's primary spokesperson and advocate on matters of public health and is a critical leader in the response to public health crises and national emergencies, including natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks. Specifically, the Surgeon General is responsible for leading the U.S. Public Health Service Commissio… Continue Reading


01.31.14

Praise for Harkin Proposal to Solve the Retirement Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C.-This week, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled the USA Retirement Funds Act, bold new legislation to tackle the growing retirement crisis and rebuild the private pension system. Policy experts and advocates have weighed in to applaud Harkin's plan to rebuild the private pension system and improve retirement security for the middle class. Read more about the USA Retirement Funds Act in thebill s… Continue Reading


01.31.14

Harkin Praises White House, Principal Financial Group Commitment to Ensure Long-Term Unemployed Have a Fair Shot at Securing New Work

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today praised an effort from President Barack Obama to partner with private companies to develop the best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed. According to the White House, more than 300 companies-including Des Moines-based Principal Financial Group-have signed on to this effort. Harkin commended Principal CEO Larry Zimpleman, who is a signatory to the best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed, and w… Continue Reading


01.31.14

Harkin Welcomes Administration Effort to Protect Student Veterans and Servicemembers

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 the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education and Justice, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, will launch a new online complaint system that will give servicemembers, veterans and their families the ability to provide feedback on their experiences at postsecondary institut… Continue Reading


01.30.14

Another Bipartisan HELP Committee-Led Health Bill Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee today announced that another bipartisan, HELP Committee-led bill passed the Senate. The bill supports and improves critical programs to identify, diagnose, and treat medical conditions among newborn babies that, if left untreated, can cause disabilities, developmental delays, illnesses or even death. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully man… Continue Reading


01.30.14

Harkin Unveils Legislation to Address Retirement Crisis, Rebuild Private Pension System

WASHINGTON, D.C. - At a Newsmaker press conference at the National Press Club today, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled bold new legislation to tackle the growing retirement crisis and rebuild the private pension system. Harkin's legislation, the Universal, Secure, and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds Act of 2014, comes at a time when the retirement income deficit has reached at least $6.6 trillion, leaving many Ameri… Continue Reading


01.29.14

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of Department of Labor, Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and Railroad Retirement Board Nominations

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 eight nominees. The approved nominees include: Michael Keith Yudin to serve as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education, James Cole, Jr. to serve as General Counsel at the Department of Education, James H. Shelton III to serve as Deputy Secret… Continue Reading


01.29.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) On Senate Floor: “A Fair Minimum Wage Will Help Lift Millions Out of Poverty”

***As prepared for delivery*** WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a floor speech today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that the President's announcement in last night's State of the Union that he would sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers is a critical first step towards ensuring fair wages for American workers. Harkin pledged to continue to work with the Administration and his fe… Continue Reading


01.29.14

Harkin, Roberts Applaud Unanimous Senate Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to Enable Charities and Cooperatives to Continue to Offer Pensions, Call for House to Enact Critical Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), a member of the HELP Committee, today applauded unanimous Senate passage of a bipartisan bill that would make it easier for charities and cooperatives to continue to offer pensions to their employees. The Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act of 2013 would ensure that charitable and cooperative associations are no… Continue Reading


01.28.14

Harkin, Senate Author of Minimum Wage Increase, Welcomes White House Call to Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today welcomed the news that President Obama will use his State of the Union address this evening to call for raising the minimum wage through Executive Order to $10.10 for federal contract workers. He will also call on Congress to finish the job for all workers by passing the bill Harkin and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) have introduced to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. "I applaud President Obama's bold step to ensure that the federal government i… Continue Reading


01.16.14

Harkin, Baucus, Whitehouse, Highlight GAO Report Showing Coverage Before Medicare Is Key To Lower Costs

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today highlighted a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found seniors who had continuous health insurance coverage prior to enrolling in Medicare were associated with better health outcomes and reduced costs to Medicare. "This report illustrates a core principle of the Afford… Continue Reading


01.16.14

Harkin Marks 50th Anniversary of Landmark Surgeon General Report on Tobacco in Congressional Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a statement submitted this week to the Congressional Record, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark Surgeon General report on smoking and health. "This 50th anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on one of the monumental public health successes of our time. New research released just last week reports that, from 1964 to 2012, at least 8 million prema… Continue Reading


01.16.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Roundtable: “Strengthening Federal Access Programs to Meet 21st Century Needs: A Look at TRIO and GEAR UP”

"Today's roundtable will focus on our main federal college access programs - TRIO and GEAR UP-and how they're performing in helping low-income students access and persist through postsecondary education. This roundtable marks our fifth event in a series to examine issues we plan to address in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. "These federal programs have a rich history. Through the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress created the TRIO programs to ensure that low-inc… Continue Reading


01.15.14

Another Bipartisan HELP Committee Bill Headed to President’s Desk Following Unanimous Senate Passage

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Another bipartisan Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill is headed to President Obama's desk following unanimous Senate passage last night. The Poison Center Network Act cleared the Committee in December and passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. The legislation is the eleventh bill-and the ninth health bill-in the HELP Committee's jurisdiction to be signed into law under Chairman Tom Harkin's (D-IA) leadership in the 113th Congress; a … Continue Reading


01.14.14

Harkin Joins Congressman Miller, CEA Chair Furman to Call on Congress to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10

WASHINGTON, D.C.-At an event held today at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA joined Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, to call on Congress to pass legislation Harkin and Miller have introduced to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, while Miller is the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee. … Continue Reading


01.14.14

Harkin, Carper Urge DOD to Address Shortfalls in Higher Education Program for Servicemembers

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) wrote to the Department of Defense (DOD) requesting that it take steps to address inaccuracies and information gaps in the "higher education" portion of its Transition Assistance Program. This portion of the Transition Assistance Program is intended to give departing service members the skills a… Continue Reading


01.13.14

Harkin: It is Wrong to Cut Disability Programs to Pay for Extension of Federal Unemployment Insurance

*As prepared for delivery* WASHINGTON, D.C.-In a floor speech Monday, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, expressed his support for extending federal unemployment insurance. He also voiced concerns about the impact of proposed offsets, which include cuts to programs serving Americans with disabilities. "Extending federal unemployment insurance benefits is one of the most important things that Congress can do right now, bot… Continue Reading


01.13.14

Harkin Statement on the Retirement of Congressman George Miller

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 ra… Continue Reading


01.10.14

Harkin Marks 50th Anniversary of First Report From Surgeon General on Health and Smoking

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) applauded the historic and continued success of anti-smoking efforts ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health. The most recent evidence of the extraordinary progress made over the last five decades comes from a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that from 1964-2012, at least 8 million premature, smoking-related deaths were prevented. Among these 8 mil… Continue Reading


01.10.14

Harkin Welcomes HHS Move To Strengthen Community Living Options for Seniors and People With Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, welcomed the announcement by the Administration that a final rule issued today will help ensure that Medicaid's home and community-based services programs provide full access to the benefits of community living and offer services to people with disabilities in the most integrated settings. The rule complements the Administration's Community Living Initiative, which was… Continue Reading

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