Ranking Member's Press

04.08.14

Harkin: Fair Pay, A Raise in the Minimum Wage Will Close the Wage Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor today to mark Equal Pay Day. Harkin has been a strong champion for gender equality in the workforce, co-sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and introducing a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, which a new White House report shows would provide a significant boost to millions of American women who make up the more than … Continue Reading


04.08.14

Harkin Statement on 150th Anniversary of Gallaudet University

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today on the 150th anniversary of Gallaudet University. "Since its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, Gallaudet University has been a world leader in providing higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals," Harkin said. "The Deaf President Now… Continue Reading


04.07.14

Harkin: House Must Act on Senate-Passed, Bipartisan Measure to Renew Critical Federal Unemployment Insurance for Jobseekers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Extension Act of 2014, which will restore unemployment insurance for millions of long-term unemployed Americans retroactively from January through May 2014. "Today's Senate vote to restore federal unemployment benefits is a critical step forward for millions… Continue Reading


04.07.14

Harkin, Senate Democrats Call On FTC and FDA To Protect Consumers From False Advertising Claims By E-Cigarette Makers

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to the heads of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today, urging the agencies to take enforcement action against e-cigarette manufacturers who make unsubstantiated or false claims in their advertising, including unproven assertions that their products help smokers of conventional ciga… Continue Reading


04.04.14

Harkin: Jobs Report Underscores Continued Urgency of Renewing Federal Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the March employment numbers. "The jobs report today shows yet another month of job growth, with 192,000 jobs added to the economy in March. While these figures are encouraging, we know that there remain nearly 4 million workers who have been searching for a new job for at least six months. "Congress has an opportunity in the coming … Continue Reading


04.03.14

Harkin: New CDC Report Shows Alarming Spike in E-Cigarette Poisonings

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that poison control centers reported a major spike in calls involving e-cigarette poisonings, increasing from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. Poisoning from e-cigarettes involves the liquid containing nicotin… Continue Reading


04.03.14

Harkin, Durbin, Cummings: More Coordination Needed In Federal Oversight of For-Profit College Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)-Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee-and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that would improve coordination between federal agencies that oversee the for-profit college industry. Through the establishment of an interagency oversight committee, the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act aims to improve enforcement of federal laws and regulations, while increa… Continue Reading


04.02.14

Harkin Statement on Senate Approval of Portia Wu to Serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training

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 Portia Wu was approved unanimously by the Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. Wu was approved by the Senate HELP Committee in February 2014. "As the economic recovery continues, one of the most important things we can do to support American workers is to give them the tools and resourc… Continue Reading


04.01.14

Passage of Children’s Hospital Medical Education Bill Sends 13th Bipartisan HELP Bill to President’s Desk

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 after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act(CHGME), sending the bill to President Obama's desk for signature. Harkin, Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Committee Members Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) led the effort t… Continue Reading


04.01.14

Harkin Statement on Senate Approval of Christopher Lu to Serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor

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 Christopher Lu was approved unanimously by the Senate to serve as the Deputy Secretary of Labor. Lu was approved by the Senate HELP Committee in February 2014. "Helping ordinary working Americans is at the heart of the work the Department of Labor does every day, and thanks to the strong leadership of the Obama Administration we … Continue Reading


04.01.14

Harkin: More Than Seven Million Enrolled For Affordable, Quality Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement on the news that more than seven million Americans had enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage through the federal and state Marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by yesterday's deadline. As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA. "Today's enrollment numbers … Continue Reading


03.31.14

Harkin, Senate Democrats Urge Navy Secretary to Prohibit Tobacco Sales at Naval Bases, Aboard Ships

WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a letter to U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined a group of four other senators in urging the department to prohibit the sale of tobacco products at naval bases and aboard ships, a move the department is currently considering. Harkin was joined by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). … Continue Reading


03.27.14

Harkin: Six Million … And Growing

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement on the news that more than six million Americans have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage through the federal and state Marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA. "Today's enrollment numbers show us that the promise … Continue Reading


03.27.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Strengthening the Federal Student Loan Program for Borrowers”

"Today's hearing is the eighth in our series examining critical issues in postsecondary education as the Committee looks to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The topic we will discuss today is of central importance, and will remain a primary focus of federal policy going forward: strengthening our federal loan programs to ensure they're working well for students and families. "Since the passage of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, the federal government has played a role in helpin… Continue Reading


03.26.14

White House Report: Women Make Up More Than Half of Workers Who Would Benefit From Harkin-Miller Proposal to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

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 White House that highlights why the Harkin-Miller proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 is important for women and how it will help reduce poverty among women and families, as well as help to make progress toward closing the gender pay gap. "Every day, millions of hardworking Americans are s… Continue Reading


03.25.14

Harkin, Six Senate Democrats Call on FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes and Other Nicotine Delivery Products

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Amidst mounting evidence that the emerging market of new nicotine delivery products poses serious public health and consumer protection issues, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined six of his fellow senators today in calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move quickly to regulate the rapidly evolving market of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products, saying: "It's time for the FDA to stop… Continue Reading


03.25.14

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the HELP Committee Hearing: “Teacher Preparation: Ensuring a Quality Teacher in Every Classroom”

"This is the seventh in a series of hearings to inform this committee's reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The focus of today's hearing, teacher preparation, is profoundly important for all students, from the very youngest to our adult students. "Study after study shows that teacher quality is the decisive in-school factor in boosting student achievement. Today, we have too few students who have access to highly effective teachers - teachers who can help ensure that our low-income s… Continue Reading


03.25.14

Harkin: Allowing Private Employers to Limit Personal Health Care Decisions for Employees Would Set a Dangerous Precedent

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today as oral arguments began at the Supreme Court in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. On the basis of the religious views of their owners, both corporations oppose giving women the freedom to access the contraceptive benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act. "Provid… Continue Reading


03.24.14

Harkin-Roberts Bill to Enable Charities and Cooperatives to Continue to Offer Pensions Clears Congress, Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) that would make it easier for charities and cooperatives to continue to offer pensions to their employees has cleared both houses of Congress and will be signed into law by the President. The Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act of 2013 will ensure that charitable and cooperative associations are not swept into the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) funding rules… Continue Reading


03.21.14

Harkin: Health Reform Has Brought $105 Million in Prescription Drug Savings, Free Preventive Services to Thousands of Iowa Seniors

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of the authors of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today applauded the news from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that thousands of Iowa Medicare beneficiaries, including seniors and people with disabilities, have collectively saved more than $105 million on prescription drugs since the enactment of the health reform law. More than 414,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa also received at least one free preventive service in 201… Continue Reading

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