Ranking Member's Press

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


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

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