Ranking Member's Press

02.07.13

Harkin Statement at the HELP Committee Hearing, "No Child Left Behind: Early Lessons from State Flexibility Waivers"

*As Prepared for Delivery* "I welcome everyone to our first education hearing of the new Congress. Today's hearing will focus on No Child Left Behind flexibility waivers to the states. "Nearly half a century ago, the United States Congress passed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. "At that time, one-fifth of American families had an annual income too small to support their basic needs. Poverty was a major issue of national concern, and lack of education contribute… Continue Reading


02.05.13

On 20th Anniversary of Enactment, Sen. Harkin Salutes the Family and Medical Leave Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today on the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a law that provides Americans with 12 weeks of job-protected leave to recover from a serious illness or care for a new child or seriously ill family member. A recent update to the FMLA provides 26 weeks of family leave to families of servicemembers and recent veterans injured in the line of duty. Harkin, who delivered a speec… Continue Reading


02.05.13

In Case You Missed It: In Politico Op-Ed, HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin Announces Plans to Reintroduce the Healthy Families Act to Provide Sick Leave to American Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C.-In case you missed it, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced in an op-ed for Politico that he plans to reintroduce the Healthy Families Act to provide paid sick days to American workers. Harkin's announcement comes on the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides most American workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover from a serious illness or to care for … Continue Reading


02.01.13

Harkin Applauds HHS Contraception Draft Rule

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee - and author of the prevention title of the Affordable Care Act - released the following statement on the Administration's proposed rule on contraceptive cost sharing for religious organizations: "I am pleased to see the Administration moving forward on efforts to help women get the preventive care they need and deserve, with no out-of-pocket costs. The prevention measures I push… Continue Reading


01.31.13

Harkin Statement at HELP Committee Hearing, "Pension Savings: Are Workers Saving Enough for Retirement?"

*As Prepared for Delivery* "I want to welcome everyone to the latest in our ongoing series of hearings focusing on retirement security. Today, we are going to take a closer look at the question: How much do families need to save for retirement? "I guess I'm about to find out what life in retirement is like, but I already know from my constituents that the dream of a secure retirement is growing fainter. Whether it is a young family struggling to pay off student loan debt, save for their kid's… Continue Reading


01.29.13

On Fourth Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Act, Harkin Introduces the Fair Pay Act to Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work

Women Make Only 77 Cents for Every Dollar Earned by a Man WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, on the fourth anniversary of enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Fair Pay Act, which would build upon the important work of that legislation and help ensure equal pay for equal work. Harkin's legislation would require employers to provide equal pay for jobs that are comparable in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, and would give workers the … Continue Reading


01.25.13

Harkin Statement on Circuit Court Ruling on NLRB Appointments

WASHINGTON--Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that strikes down President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): "Today's Circuit Court decision is not only a radical departure from precedent, it ignores the fact that President Obama had no choice but to act. Throughout his pre… Continue Reading


01.22.13

Harkin Bill Outlines Critical Public Health and Prevention Initiatives

Legislation Includes Provisions to Fight Chronic Disease, Encourage Healthier Communities, Schools and Workplaces, and Improve Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities WASHINGTON, D.C. - Legislation introduced today by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, outlines critical public health and prevention initiatives to fight chronic disease, encourage healthier schools, communities and workplaces, and improve physical ac… Continue Reading


01.16.13

Harkin: White House Proposal Balances Rights; Need for Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after the White House announced recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden's gun task force. "Like all Americans, I was deeply saddened by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. What added to our grief as a nation was that it also came on the heels of mass gun shootings in Colorado, Arizona, Wisconsin, and the senseless acts of violence that occur every day in cities throughout o… Continue Reading


01.09.13

Harkin Statement on Resignation of Labor Secretary Solis

WASHINGTON--Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement in response to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' resignation: "Secretary Solis has been an exemplary public servant and a fierce champion for workers' rights. She served as a strong voice at the Department of Labor during a particularly challenging time for our nation's economy and for our middle class. I am grateful for her service to our country, and wish her all the best in the next step in her career." ###… Continue Reading


12.19.12

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on His Decision to Remain Chairman of the HELP Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement: "Earlier today, I informed Majority Leader Reid of my intention to remain Chairman of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. I made this decision based on where my passion lies. This is my work, it is who I am, and these are the issues that define me. "I believe strongly that the erosion of the middle class, and growing income inequality, are among our most pressing issues as a countr… Continue Reading


11.19.12

HELP Committee Seeks Answers from States on Compounding Pharmacies

WASHINGTON-Today, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY) and members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee sent letters to all fifty state boards of pharmacy, the entities responsible for maintaining registries of pharmacies operating within their state. The HELP Committee is investigating the New England Compounding Center (NECC) for its production of tainted drugs that caused the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis, which has resulted in 33 deaths … Continue Reading


11.15.12

Statement of Senator Harkin (D-IA) at the HELP Committee Hearing: “Pharmacy Compounding: Implications of the 2012 Meningitis Outbreak”

"We are meeting here today to better understand what caused one of the worst public health crises this country has experienced in recent years: the meningitis outbreak that has claimed the lives of 32 Americans and sickened at least 461 people. "While those affected grapple with side effects and complications related to treatment, thousands more are waiting to see if they become ill. This outbreak has been traced back to pharmaceuticals produced at the New England Compounding Comp… Continue Reading


10.25.12

HELP Committee Members Issue Document Request in Meningitis Investigation

WASHINGTON-Today, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY) and members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions issued letters requesting documents to aid in the committee's investigation into the recent fungal meningitis outbreak, which has sickened more than 300 Americans. The Committee sent letters to the New England Compounding Center, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking records that will help the C… Continue Reading


10.24.12

Draft Proposal to Improve Drug Distribution Security

Policy Options Draft for Stakeholder Discussion This discussion draft reflects an ongoing effort to develop consensus policy on drug distribution security. This draft contains brackets and a menu of policy options for some issues around which developing consensus is most challenging. Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi of the HELP Committee, Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the offices of Senators Bennet, Burr, Alexander, Whitehouse, … Continue Reading


09.20.12

Harkin Statement at HELP Committee Roundtable: “Pension Modernization for a 21st Century Workforce”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "I want to welcome everyone to the extraordinary roundtable we are holding today. We have brought together a number of very experienced and thoughtful participants to talk about an issue that is critically important for the middle class -rebuilding the pension system. "Defined benefit pension plans are one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways for middle class Americans to earn a dependable source of retirement income. And they are incredibly effective at keep… Continue Reading


07.30.12

Harkin: Report Reveals Troubling Realities of For-Profit Schools

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled a report on the findings of the Committee's two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry. The report outlines widespread problems throughout the sector, as evidenced by the thousands of pages of never-before-released internal documents that education companies submitted to the Committee at Harkin's request. "In this report, you will find over… Continue Reading


07.27.12

Harkin Unveils Plan to Solve the Retirement Crisis

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released a new report examining the retirement crisis in America and laying out a bold proposal to rebuild the private pension system. The report comes after a series of HELP Committee hearings on retirement security that Harkin has convened over the last two years. "After a lifetime of hard work, people deserve the opportunity to live out their golden years with dignity an… Continue Reading


07.20.12

Harkin Statement on Private Student Loan Market Report

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), issued the following statement after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education released a report today illustrating the misleading practices and debt that stemmed from the financial boom and bust of the private student loan market over the last decade: "With student loan debt at a record level, we must empower students and families to mak… Continue Reading


07.16.12

HELP Committee Releases Report, Recommendations on Disability Employment

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Senate author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, released a report detailing the current state of employment for adults with disabilities, and describing policy recommendations that would help to increase labor force participation. Following a series of bipartisan HELP Committee hearings to explore the persistently low employment rate of people with disabiliti… Continue Reading

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