Ranking Member's Press

07.16.14

Harkin: We Will Not Give Up the Fight to Ensure Access to Health Care Services

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today after Senate Republicans obstructed consideration of theProtect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act, also known as the Not My Boss's Business Act. Harkin is an original sponsor of the bill, which would restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage of other health se… Continue Reading


07.16.14

Harkin, Blumenthal, Casey Introduce Legislation to Hold Companies Accountable For Concealing Defects

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Hide No Harm Act of 2014, a bill that would make it a crime for a corporate officer to knowingly conceal the fact that a corporate action or product poses a danger of death or serious physical injury to consumers and workers. The bill, which would create punishments of up to five years in prison and potential fines, would also create a safe harbor from criminal liability in cases wh… Continue Reading


07.11.14

HELP Committee Senators to HHS: Mishandling of Dangerous Pathogens Calls for Review of Policies and Procedures

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are pressing for answers following three separate incidents in which select agents were reportedly improperly handled, stored, or transferred by federal laboratories at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell today, the lawmakers called for a careful rev… Continue Reading


07.10.14

Senators: Corporations Must Give Workers and Retirees Fair Treatment in Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today joined Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Al Franken (D-MN) to introduce legislation to curb abuses that deprive employees and retirees of their earnings and retirement savings when businesses collapse. The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act would make several changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law,… Continue Reading


07.10.14

GAO Undercover Investigation Raises Questions About Pension Advance Companies’ Business Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the results of an undercover investigation into pension advance companies requested by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee. GAO found questionable business practices at companies that, in exchange for a consumer's future pension payments, offer some financially distressed consumers lump-… Continue Reading


07.10.14

Update to America’s Workforce Development System Is 14th Bipartisan HELP Committee Bill to Become Law in 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by a bipartisan vote of 415-6. When the bill is signed by the President, as he has indicated he will do, fourteen bills in the HELP Committee's jurisdiction-under the leadership of Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)-will have become law in the 113th Congress. In a Congress dominated by partisan gridlock and Republican obstructionism, the bipartisan successes of the HELP Committee stand out. … Continue Reading


07.09.14

Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the President's desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation's workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of Repr… Continue Reading


07.09.14

Harkin Joins Colleagues to Introduce Legislative Fix to Protect Women’s Health in Aftermath of Supreme Court Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined his Senate Democratic colleagues in introducing the Protect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act. The bill would restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage of other health services from employers who want to impose their beliefs on their employees by denying benefits. Representatives Dian… Continue Reading


07.03.14

Harkin: June Jobs Report Shows Positive 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 June employment report showing that the economy added 288,000 jobs last month, with the national unemployment rate falling to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent. "Today's jobs report demonstrates that our economy is on the right track. We had another month of steady job growth with 288,000 jobs added to the economy in June. That … Continue Reading


07.01.14

Harkin Statement on HHS Inspector General Reports

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today on two reports issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the verification of eligibility for coverage and financial help through the Marketplace. Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (the LHHS s… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Harkin Statement on PBGC Projections Report

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) FY2013 Projections Report. Congress requires the agency to provide the Projections Report so that policymakers and the general public have a better understanding of the health of PBGC and the private pension system. The HELP Committee is responsible for the oversight of the PBGC. … Continue Reading


06.30.14

Harkin Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Harris v. Quinn

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today following the Supreme Court's ruling in Harris v. Quinn. "Since 1977, public sector workers who receive strong wages and safer working conditions from collectively bargained contracts have been asked to contribute their fair share in exchange for the benefits they receive from union representation. They do not have to fund a union's … Continue Reading


06.30.14

Harkin: Supreme Court Decision Will Limit Access to Critical Preventive Care for Everyday Working Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today following the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. "Providing consumers with access to preventive care services with no cost-sharing was a top priority for me in crafting the Affordable Care Act. This coverage empowers Americans to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families. For … Continue Reading


06.26.14

Broad Support for Harkin’s Higher Education Affordability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following yesterday's release of the Higher Education Affordability Act, a broad range of education, student, consumer, labor, and disability advocates expressed their support for provisions of the bill. Released by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Higher Education Affordability Act takes a comprehensive approach to rein in rising college costs and ensure the system is better serving students and fa… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Twelve Senators Urge Education Department to Protect Students While Continuing Oversight of Other For-Profit Colleges

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, twelve U.S. Senators called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to protect students while continuing to hold Corinthian Colleges, Inc. accountable, including immediately prohibiting them from enrolling any new students. After failing to provide required data to the Department of Education about its practices, including falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students and allegations of altered grades and attendance, Corinthian has now ag… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Harkin Statement on Supreme Court Decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) v. Noel Canning. "The American men and women who manufacture our goods, nurse us back to health, and build our roads are the backbone of the middle class and the driver of our economy. Our nation relies on them. The least we can do is ensure that their… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Sexual Assault on Campus: Working to Ensure Student Safety”

"This is the eleventh in a series of hearings to inform this committee's reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The focus of today's hearing, campus sexual assault, is a profoundly important one. "Too many students are being assaulted on our nation's college campuses. According to current research, an estimated one in 5 women are sexually assaulted or victims of attempted sexual assault while in college. As we will hear today, sexual assault does not just happen to women. Approximately … Continue Reading


06.25.14

Harkin, Alexander, Murray, Isakson Praise Senate Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Urge Swift House Approval to Send Long-Overdue Update to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Senate coauthors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) today hailed the Senate passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation's workforce development system, and together urged the U.S. House of Representatives to take up the bill and pass it swiftly. The bill-which was approved by a vote of 95 to 3-modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st-century jobs, provides supports… Continue Reading


06.25.14

In Advance of Senate Vote, Harkin Urges Senate Colleagues to Support Bipartisan, Bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.-In advance of a Senate vote on the bipartisan, bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of the lead Senate authors of the legislation, spoke on the floor to urge his Senate colleagues to support the legislation. The proposal, which was released by a bipartisan group of leaders from the House and Senate in May, would improve federal workforce development laws that have been overdue for reauthorization for over a decade. Dozens of labor, … Continue Reading


06.25.14

With Focus on Affordability and Access, HELP Chairman Harkin Unveils Discussion Draft to Reauthorize Higher Education Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released for discussion a draft proposal for the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The Higher Education Affordability Act takes a comprehensive approach to rein in rising college costs and ensure the system is better serving students and families. The proposal focuses on four main goals: increasing college affordability, helping struggling … Continue Reading

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