Ranking Member's Press

01.10.14

Harkin Applauds FDA’s Outreach Efforts in Moving Drug Compounding Law Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee welcomed the announcement this week that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with implementation of the Drug Quality and Security Act, which Harkin led to Senate passage in November 2013 and President Obama signed later that month. The law will help ensure the safety of compounded drugs and is aimed at helping to prevent a future public health crisis li… Continue Reading


01.09.14

Harkin-Led Effort to Cover Breast Cancer Prevention Medication Becomes a Reality

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today welcomed the announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that under provisions he authored in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women will be able to gain access to medications that will reduce the risk of breast cancer at no cost. This coverage will go into effect September 2014 under the provision created by Senator Harkin in the health law whi… Continue Reading


01.07.14

Harkin: Senate Moves a Step Closer to Passing Extension of Federal Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, after the U.S. Senate voted to start debate on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) said Congress was one step closer to passing the bill. Harkin, as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has been a strong advocate for the millions of jobseekers and families the bill would help, and joined 20 of his fellow senators in co-sponsoring the bipartisan bill and urging swift passage by the Sena… Continue Reading


01.06.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin: “Congress has an Obligation to Restore Federal Unemployment Insurance”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a statement submitted today to the Congressional Record, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that Congress has a duty to restore federal unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million Americans who lost those benefits when they expired on December 28. He added that without Congressional action this year, another 3.6 million Americans will be cut off from unemployment insurance as they exhaust their sta… Continue Reading


12.18.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of Department of Labor, 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 three nominees. The approved nominees include: Dr. David Weil to serve as head of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, Dr. France Cordova to serve as Director of the National Science Foundation, and Steven J. Anthony to serve as the Management Member of the Railroad Retirement Board. … Continue Reading


12.18.13

Harkin: HELP Committee Completes Year of Bipartisan Action by Approving Two Health Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Capping a year of bipartisan accomplishments, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee met in executive session today to approve two health bills, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act and the Poison Center Network Act. Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued the following statement to mark the HELP Committee's productive year in 2013: "Throughout 2013, Democrats and Republicans on the HELP Committee worked together on a variety of important measures to… Continue Reading


12.18.13

Harkin, Boxer, Blumenthal, Durbin, Brown, and Markey Urge Federal Trade Commission to Investigate E-Cigarette Marketing Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to send a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez urging the FTC to investigate the marketing practices of e-cigarette manufacturers. The Senators called on the FTC to provide more information to the publ… Continue Reading


12.17.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) On Senate Floor: “Working Families Need Congress To Be On Their Side”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a floor speech today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said that Congress has a duty to make sure the people who do the work that makes our country run get a fair chance to aspire to the American Dream. He highlighted support for three programs: a strong food assistance program, a richly deserved and long-overdue increase in the minimum wage, and an extension of federal unemployment insurance to help achiev… Continue Reading


12.17.13

GAO Finds Problems in Retirement Disclosure Requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C.-A report released at the request of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education & the Workforce Committee-along with Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)-found that the government agencies responsible for overseeing private-sector pension plans could take steps to improve reporting and disclos… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Harkin Statement on Confirmation of Chai Feldblum to Continue as Commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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 Senate confirmed Chai Feldblum to continue serving as a Commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The HELP Committee approved Feldblum's nomination in October. "As a current Commissioner at the EEOC, Chai Feldblum is part of an agency that serves American workers, protects them against discrimination… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Accreditation as Quality Assurance: Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Learning”

"Today's hearing is the fourth in our series examining critical issues in postsecondary education ahead of the reauthorization the Higher Education Act. I said at our first hearing that we would spend time examining each player in the regulatory 'triad' that oversees colleges. Today we will take a close look at our accreditation system. "Accreditation's role is to help ensure an acceptable level of quality across the wide spectrum of American higher education. Under the Higher Education Act… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Statement by Senator Tom Harkin: "We Must Extend Unemployment Insurance"

Mr. President, I rise today to speak about one of the most important jobs the Senate must do before we go home for the holidays-extend federal unemployment insurance benefits. This is a program that has helped tens of millions of Americans weather the storm of the difficult economy over the last several years. It has helped workers put food on the table, kept a roof over their heads, and kept millions out of poverty. But this program is at risk. If Congress fails to extend it, then just thre… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Senator Harkin's Remarks at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, "How the Federal Contracting System Harms Workers and Taxpayers"

"It's great to be back at the Center for American Progress, a real intellectual center of progressive policy development. "In March 2007, Eleazar Torres Gomez, a 46 year old father of four, was working as a washroom operator at a Cintas Corporation facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When Eleazar attempted to dislodge a clothes jam he was swept into an industrial dryer, which then continued to spin with him inside for 20 minutes at over 300 degrees. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the loc… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Harkin Unveils HELP Committee Investigation Revealing Widespread Labor Law Violations Among Major Government Contractors

Investigation Represents the First Comprehensive Report to Connect Dots Between Federal Contracts and Labor Law Violations Forty-Nine Contractors Engaging in Significant Labor Law Violations Received $81 Billion in Taxpayer-Funded Contracts in 2012 Alone WASHINGTON, D.C.-An investigation into the federal contracting process unveiled today by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, revealed widespread labor law violations … Continue Reading


12.10.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Nomination of Dr. David Weil to Serve as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today I am very pleased to welcome Dr. David Weil as the nominee to administer the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor. The Wage and Hour Division oversees some of the most fundamental protections for American workers: it ensures that people are paid fairly in accordance with our minimum wage and overtime laws. It protects vulnerable children when our child labor laws are abused. It ensures that workers can spend time with their families when a new b… Continue Reading


12.06.13

Harkin, 31 Senate Democrats Call to Reauthorize Critical Unemployment Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and 31 Senate Democrats sent a letter urging Congress to preserve federal unemployment insurance for another year. If Congress fails to act, more than 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers will lose their unemployment insurance at the end of December -- and millions more will have no benefits after their initial 26 weeks of unemployment insurance (UI) are exhaust… Continue Reading


12.06.13

Harkin: Job Growth is Encouraging, But We Must Still Act to Extend Vital Unemployment Insurance

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 November employment numbers, showing the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, with more than 200,000 jobs added to the economy: "Today's jobs report is a welcome sign of an ever-improving economy. Over 200,000 jobs were added in November alone, in industries across a wide variety of sectors, i… Continue Reading


12.04.13

Harkin Statement on President’s Speech Addressing Income Inequality, Need to Raise Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech addressing income inequality and the need to raise the minimum wage. In November, the President expressed his support for a proposal, introduced by Harkin in the Senate and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) in the House, to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 in three steps and provide for aut… Continue Reading


12.03.13

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Harkin Renews Call for Senate to Ratify Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)-Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senate author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act-renewed his call for the Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). "Since the passage of the ADA, we have made real progress in opening the doors of opportunity to millions of Americans with disabi… Continue Reading


11.27.13

Harkin: Signing of Bipartisan Health Bills is Culmination of Major HELP Committee Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after President Obama signed several bipartisan health bills into law today, including the landmark Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), which Harkin introduced and led to passage in the Senate on November 18, 2013. The President also signed into law a package of bipartisan health bills, including the CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013, and the PRE… Continue Reading

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