Ranking Member's Press

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


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

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