Ranking Member's Press

09.24.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “U.S. Efforts to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "In the late 1970s, a group of researchers began to examine reports of patient deaths and injuries caused by anesthesia. They found wide variation in quality, and a disturbing incidence of medical errors, leading to 6,000 deaths or serious injuries annually. ABC's "20/20" news program covered the study, and the modern patient safety movement was born. "We are meeting today because, more than 30 years later, safety and quality in health care facilities remains a p… Continue Reading


09.19.13

Harkin Applauds Continued Success of Prevention Fund-Supported Anti-Smoking Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's second 2013 "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign, which produced more than 150,000 additional calls to a central tobacco quitline and generated almost 2.8 million additional visitors to the campaign website. According to the CDC, these figures represent a 75 percent increase in call volume and a nearly 38-fold increase in unique website visitors, compared with the four weeks … Continue Reading


09.19.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “The Triad: Promoting a System of Shared Responsibility. Issues for Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today's hearing marks the kick-off of the reauthorization process of the Higher Education Act here in the Senate. The Committee will hold a series of twelve hearings over the coming months to analyze the many aspects of our higher education system and how it can be improved. These hearings will range from a more in-depth analysis of what we are all here to discuss today - the role states, accreditors and the federal government play in our higher education system - … Continue Reading


09.18.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee’s Bipartisan Vote to Reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement after the Committee voted to pass the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 (CCDBG), a bill that will expand access to and improve the quality of child care for the more than 1.5 million children and families that benefit from the federal child care subsidy program: "In the nearly 20 years since the Child Care and Develop… Continue Reading


09.17.13

Harkin Statement on Wage and Overtime Protections for Home Care Workers

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 after the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a critical rule to ensure fair wages for workers providing in-home care and support to seniors and people with disabilities. The finalized rule will amend an existing regulation that exempts 2 million home care workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act, and will ensure that most home care… Continue Reading


09.17.13

Senate Education Committee Leaders Launch Higher Education Act Reauthorization Hearings

Will seek input from higher education community, including students, parents, and faculty WASHINGTON, D.C.-Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced their intention to hold a series of hearings on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for the 113th Congress. The hearings will address a host of higher education topics. Additionally, the Chairman and the Ranking Member rel… Continue Reading


09.13.13

Harkin Marks World Sepsis Day, Announces Upcoming Hearing on Efforts to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections

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 to mark World Sepsis Day and to announce that the HELP Committee will convene on September 24th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections, including sepsis. "No one should leave a hospital sicker than when they came in. We know that many healthcare-associated infections are preventable and easily… Continue Reading


09.09.13

Harkin: New Anti-Smoking Data Proves Prevention Fund Works

1.6 Million Smokers Have Attempted to Quit Smoking; More Than 200,000 Americans Quit Smoking Successfully WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today hailed an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the "Tips From a Former Smoker" ("Tips") 2012 national ad campaign led an estimated 1.6 million smokers to attempt to quit smoking and helped more than 200,000 Americans quit smoking immediately. The "Tips" campaign was funded by the Prevention and Publ… Continue Reading


09.05.13

Harkin, Blumenthal, Durbin, Carper, Markey Warn Against Dangers Of E-Cigarettes After CDC Releases Data Showing An Increase In Use Among Youth

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA) warned against the dangers of electronic cigarettes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new data showing that use of these products has more than doubled among middle and high school students since the 2011-2012 school year. Electronic cigarettes or "e-cigs" are marketed as substitutes for tobacco smoking. However, in addition to rele… Continue Reading


08.27.13

Harkin: Labor Department Rule Sets Critical Goal for Disability Employment

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 Vice President Joe Biden's announcement that the Administration will implement a new rule to promote employment for individuals with disabilities. The rule, aimed at federal contractors and subcontractors, is designed to increase the hiring, retention, and promotion of qualified individuals with disabilities. The rule … Continue Reading


08.23.13

Harkin Applauds OSHA Rule to Address Silica Exposure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement welcoming an OSHA proposed rule aimed at protecting workers from exposure to crystalline silica. Exposure kills hundreds of workers and sickens thousands more each year. "I applaud Secretary Perez and the U.S. Department of Labor for putting forward a strong proposal to address the deadly threat that silica exposure presents to the … Continue Reading


08.23.13

Harkin Welcomes Education Department Proposal on “2 Percent Rule”

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 U.S. Department of Education's proposed rulemaking to transition away from the so-called "2 percent rule." "The U.S. Department of Education's proposal to eliminate the use of so-called 2 percent assessments and to work to provide all students, including those with disabilities, with the instruction and support for… Continue Reading


08.22.13

Harkin Statement on the President’s Higher Education Speech

'The decision about where to attend college is one of the biggest choices students and their families face...I agree with President Obama that we must provide greater transparency to help them through the process' WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after President Barack Obama delivered a speech on higher education. Harkin serves as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which will begin the process of re… Continue Reading


08.20.13

Harkin Statement on Education Department’s New Anti-Bullying Guidance for Schools Around the Country

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 regarding the anti-bullying guidance issued today by the U.S. Department of Education for schools around the country. "As schools once again open their doors for students throughout the country, we know that one of the primary building blocks of effective instruction is a school environment that creates safe, successful, and posi… Continue Reading


08.20.13

New Report Shows Harkin Proposal Would Enhance Retirement Security

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today in response to a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP). The report showed that providing universal access to hybrid retirement plans - like Harkin's USA Retirement Funds - would contribute to a more secure retirement for Americans by reducing both risk and costs, especially when compared to traditional plans like 401(… Continue Reading


08.10.13

FDA Alert - Sterile Products from Specialty Compounding in Cedar Park, TX

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned health care professionals against using sterile products supplied by Specialty Compounding in Cedar Park, Texas because bacterial infections have been potentially associated with contaminated calcium gluconate infusions produced by the company. According to the alert, 15 patients developed bacterial bloodstream infections thought to be related to drug infusions produced by the compounder. Though this case is still… Continue Reading


08.08.13

In Case You Missed It: PBS NewsHour Covers HELP Chairman Harkin’s Investigation Showing ADA’s Promise of Integration is Not Being Met for Many Americans with Disabilities

"NewsHour" Segment Also Features Ricardo Thornton, Who Was Warehoused-Until His Early Twenties-in an Institution for Individuals with Disabilities; Thornton Testified Before the HELP Committee in 2012 WASHINGTON, D.C.-In case you missed it, PBS' NewsHour program last night reported on an investigation issued by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) showing that the civil rights promises of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are not being met for … Continue Reading


08.07.13

GAO Report Confirms: Clear Authority Needed to Strengthen Oversight of Drug Compounding

HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander Lead Effort on Legislation to Clarify Oversight of Large-Scale Drug Compounders Report: "Differing FDA Authority to Oversee Compounded Drugs Across the Country Has Resulted in Gaps in Oversight of Drug Compounding" WASHINGTON, D.C. - A newly-released report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that legislation is needed to clarify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) oversight of lar… Continue Reading


08.02.13

Harkin Statement on Health Insurance Coverage for Members of Congress and Their Staffs

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 regarding health insurance coverage for Members of Congress and their staffs. As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the health reform bill. "The health care exchanges are a central part of the Affordable Care Act's historic coverage expansion, providing a 'one stop shop' for health insu… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Murray, Isakson, Harkin, Alexander Applaud HELP Committee Passage of Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization

Reauthorization Bill Clears Senate HELP Committee by Vote of 18-3 WIA Reauthorization Has Been Overdue Since 2003 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) applauded the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee vote to pass reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The bill passed through the committee by a 18-3 vote, and will now be considered by the full Senate. The or… Continue Reading

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