Ranking Member's Press

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


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

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