Ranking Member's Press

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


07.31.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Executive Session on S.1356, The Workforce Investment Act of 2013”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today we will mark up the Workforce Investment Act of 2013, a bill to reauthorize our nation's primary workforce development system. Our actions today are crucial and long overdue - the last reauthorization of this law expired in 2003. With this mark-up, we have the opportunity to strengthen the foundations of the existing system while modernizing it further to help workers get the service and skills they need and to help our businesses grow. "I am proud that the bi… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Harkin Statement on Confirmation of Five Nominees to the NLRB

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 Senate confirmed five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The HELP Committee held confirmation hearings for the nominees in May and earlier this month. "For the first time in more than a decade, the National Labor Relations Board will be fully-confirmed and fully-functional. This is tremendous news fo… Continue Reading


07.26.13

Harkin Statement on 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement today on the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Harkin was the Senate sponsor of the ADA and delivered the first-ever Senate floor speech in American Sign Language upon Senate passage of the law. Harkin recorded a video greeting to commemorate the anniversary of this landmark civil rights law. "Working on … Continue Reading


07.25.13

Senate Health Committee Members Urge Senate Action on Bill to Help Prevent Another Compounding Crisis Like the Deadly Meningitis Outbreak, Protect Nation’s Drug Supply

WASHINGTON D.C. - A bipartisan coalition of senators on the U.S. Senate committee overseeing health policy today urged Senate action on their legislation to help prevent another compounding crisis like the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that has led to 61 deaths and 749 illnesses, as well as protect the nation's drug supply chain for the nearly 4 billion prescriptions filled annually by establishing a uniform, national prescription drug-tracing framework. The senators released an update of th… Continue Reading


07.25.13

Murray, Isakson, Harkin, Alexander Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Re-Authorize the Workforce Investment Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bipartisan bill to re-authorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), legislation first passed by Congress in 1998 and overdue for re-authorization since 2003. The bill contains crucial adjustments to the original WIA legislation that reflect the ever-changing global economy, input from bu… Continue Reading


07.24.13

Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of Student Loan Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement after Senate approval of a proposal that will lower interest rates for all borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new federal student loan after July 1, 2013. As part of the bipartisan compromise, Senator Harkin secured caps on all loans, including an 8.25% cap on all undergraduate loans. "At my insistence, this propos… Continue Reading


07.24.13

Harkin Statement on the President’s Economic Speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement responding to a speech delivered by President Obama on the economy today. Harkin, as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, authored the Rebuild America Act, far-reaching legislation that called for investments in areas like education and workforce training, our nation's infrastructure, manufacturing jobs, and retirement security, as well as an increase in the federal minimum wage… Continue Reading


07.24.13

On 4th Anniversary of Last Minimum Wage Increase, Harkin and Miller Point to New Poll Data Showing Broad, Bipartisan Support for Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10

Earlier This Year, Sen. Harkin and Rep. George Miller Introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which Would Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10 and Index it to Inflation Increasing the Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Increase GDP by Nearly $33 Billion and Generate 140,000 New Jobs Over Three Years Due to Increased Consumer Spending WASHINGTON, D.C.-On the four-year anniversary of the last minimum wage increase, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and … Continue Reading


07.24.13

Chairman Harkin Statement on Senate HELP Committee Approval of Two National Labor Relations Board Nominees

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 HELP Committee approved two nominees-Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer-to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The HELP Committee has now approved a full slate of five nominees to the NLRB, having voted to advance three additional nominees this past May. "Once these five nominations are approved by the Sen… Continue Reading


07.23.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Hearing on National Labor Relations Board Nominees”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Today's hearing is the result of a bipartisan deal that was reached to allow for a fully-confirmed National Labor Relations Board for the first time in a decade. A fully-confirmed, fully-functional Board will be a huge step forward for workers, employers, and our country. Indeed, I hope that this agreement brings a new beginning for the Board, so that we can ratchet down the political rhetoric that seems to surround this agency, and instead let the dedicated public… Continue Reading


07.19.13

HELP Chairman Harkin Statement on House Passage of Legislation to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.--U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Earlier this year, the Senate HELP Committee passed its own ESEA reauthorization, the Strengthening America's Schools Act of 2013. "Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is one of my highest priorities. Teacher… Continue Reading


07.18.13

Bipartisan Group of Senators Reach Deal to Lower Rates for All Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)-working with U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Dick Durbin (D-IL)-introduced a bipartisan compromise, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, to lower interest rates for 100% of borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new federal student loan after July 1, 2013. As… Continue Reading


07.18.13

Harkin Statement on Senate Approval of Thomas Perez to Serve as Secretary of Labor

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 Senate approved the nomination of Thomas Perez to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor. The HELP Committee held a hearing for Perez in April and favorably reported his nomination in May. "Without question, Tom Perez has the knowledge and experience needed to guide the U.S. Department of Labor. Through his professional expe… Continue Reading


07.18.13

After Year-Long Investigation, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin Releases Report Showing ADA’s Promise of Integration is Not Being Met for Many Americans with Disabilities

After Year-Long Investigation, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin Releases Report Showing ADA's Promise of Integration is Not Being Met for Many Americans with Disabilities Supreme Court's Olmstead Decision Ruled That Unnecessary Segregation of Individuals with Disabilities is a Violation of the ADA-but HELP Committee Report Finds That 14 Years Later, States Have Yet to Make Adequate Progress in Ensuring Independent Living HELP Committee Report: Providing Services for People with Disabi… Continue Reading


07.16.13

Harkin Statement on the National Labor Relations Board

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 on the National Labor Relations Board: "The National Labor Relations Board safeguards essential protections-like the ability to form a union, secure fair wages, and work in a safe environment-for millions of employees nationwide. The Board is just as essential for our nation's employers, by helping numerous businesses resolve dis… Continue Reading


07.16.13

Harkin, Roberts Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Enable Charities and Cooperatives to Continue to Offer Pensions

Legislation Would Protect Pensions for A Variety of Employers in Iowa, Kansas, and Across the U.S., including Electric, Agricultural, and Broadband Cooperatives; 20 Private Schools in Iowa; the United Way of Central Iowa; the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Central Illinois; and 136 Kansas Co-Op Employers with 9,870 Active Employees Bill is Endorsed by Groups Including Christian Schools International, the Jewish Federations of North America, Girl Scouts of America, the National Rural Electric C… Continue Reading


07.16.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) at the HELP Committee Hearing: “Pooled Retirement Plans: Closing the Retirement Plan Coverage Gap for Small Businesses”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "I would like to thank all of you for coming to the latest in our ongoing series of hearings on the retirement system. Today, we are going to focus on the fact that most people employed by small businesses simply are not being offered good retirement benefits. And we are going to look at whether we can address this problem by allowing groups of small employers to reduce cost, complexity, and risk through pooled retirement plans. "These are important issues because … Continue Reading

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