Ranking Member's Press

05.23.13

Harkin Statement on House Vote That Would Make College More Expensive for Millions of American Students

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 U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would make college more expensive for millions of American students. In an effort to protect taxpayers and shield college students from a sharp increase in federal Stafford loan interest rates, Harkin, along with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Majority Leader Harry Re… Continue Reading


05.23.13

Harkin Reintroduces FIT Kids Act to Combat Childhood Obesity and Promote Physical Activity

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today reintroduced the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act), a bill to combat childhood obesity and improve the well-being of all students by supporting improved measurement of physical activity and physical education at the state, local, and school level and by strengthening physical education programs in schools throughout the country. The bill's intro… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of a Full Slate of Five Nominees to the NLRB

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Committee's approval of five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). "Today's vote is a step in the right direction. Unless the Senate acts to confirm all five nominees to the NLRB, the Board will effectively shut down in August. That would be devastating to the workers and businesses that rely on the Board each and eve… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Passage of the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Committee's passage of S. 959, the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act, and S. 957, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act. "I am pleased that the HELP Committee has come together in a bipartisan effort to protect the public health from tainted and adulterated prescription drugs. These bills will enable Americans to b… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Release Report Outlining Urgent Need for Clear Regulatory Guidelines of Drug Compounders as Committee Approves Legislation

Bipartisan Report Finds That Public Health Risks from Large-Scale Drug Compounding Persist; Fall 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Stemming From the New England Compounding Center's Tainted Steroid Injections Sickened More than 700 and Killed More Than 50 Since Last Fall's Meningitis Outbreak, at Least 48 Large-Scale Compounders Have Produced and Sold Drugs That Were Contaminated or Created in Unsafe Conditions "Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act" Would Clarify FDA Authori… Continue Reading


05.20.13

Harkin, Alexander Initiate Committee Investigation into Pension Lenders

WASHINGTON-Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, have sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), requesting documentation and information that could help the Committee identify Americans who may have been targeted by lenders offering lump-sum payments, with potentially illegally high rates of interest repayment, in exchange for a stake in the borrower's pension… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) At the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security: “Improving Retirement Security: Expanding Coverage to All Americans”

"It's great to be here today to talk about the retirement crisis and my proposal to solve it by expanding pension coverage. "But before I get into my remarks, I want to thank Lisa Mensah and the team at Aspen for sponsoring this event as well as the other speakers here today. I would also like to commend my friend Congressman Neal for his thought leadership on retirement issues. He is working hard as a member of the Ways and Means Committee to solve the retirement crisis and help rebuild e… Continue Reading


05.16.13

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

"Over 75 years ago, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act, guaranteeing American workers the right to form and join a union and bargain for a better life. For both union and non-union workers alike, the Act provides essential protections - it gives workers a voice, and the ability to join together and speak up for fair wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions. These rights are one of the pillars of our middle class, ensuring that the people who do the real work in this cou… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of Thomas Perez to Serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the HELP Committee's approval of Thomas Perez's nomination to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor: "Throughout his exemplary career, Thomas Perez has demonstrated his professionalism, his integrity, and his commitment to public service. At the Maryland Department of Labor, he skillfully built coalitions between workers and the business com… Continue Reading


05.15.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Introduce Legislation to Clarify Oversight Responsibilities for Pharmaceutical Compounding, Ensure Safety for Consumers

'Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act' Preserves States' Primary Role in Traditional Pharmacy Regulation; Clarifies FDA Authority Over Those Making Sterile Products Without Prescriptions and Shipping Across State Borders Harkin and Alexander Announce That HELP Committee Will Convene for an Executive Session on Wednesday, May 22, to Consider New Legislation-Along With A Proposal to Strengthen and Improve the Drug Distribution Supply Chain WASHINGTON, D.C.-Chairman of the S… Continue Reading


05.15.13

Senators Introduce Fully Paid-For Legislation to Prevent Student Loan Rate Hike

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to protect taxpayers and shield college students from a sharp increase in federal Stafford loan interest rates, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), are introducing a fully paid-for bill to ensure student loan interest rates for more than 7 million undergraduate students do not dramatically increase this year. The current … Continue Reading


05.14.13

Harkin Statement on IOM Report Confirming Need for Americans to Reduce Sodium Consumption

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released the following statement in response to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) examining the existing body of research linking sodium intake to health outcomes and confirming the need for Americans to reduce their consumption of sodium. In 2008, Harkin commissioned a study from the IOM-released in 2010-that looked at common-sense strategies for reducing dang… Continue Reading


05.09.13

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) at the HELP Committee Hearing: “Pharmaceutical Compounding: Proposed Legislative Solution”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Last November, this Committee convened a hearing 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 53 Americans and sickened more than 700. Through that hearing and the efforts of our investigation teams, we've developed a better understanding of the legal and regulatory gaps that allowed owners and managers at the New England Compounding Company … Continue Reading


05.09.13

Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of Animal Drug User Fee Bill

Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of Animal Drug User Fee Bill WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, applauded the Senate's passage of the Animal Drug User Fee Agreement (ADUFA) and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Agreement (AGDUFA) reauthorizations. ADUFA and AGDUFA allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect user fees from sponsors of animal drug and animal generic drug applications, and the agency … Continue Reading


05.08.13

Harkin Statement on the Nomination of Thomas Perez

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate about Republican obstructionism that has prevented a scheduled Committee vote this afternoon on the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor. Below is the full text of Harkin's remarks, as prepared for delivery: "I come to the floor today to express my deep disappointment that - once again - Republican obstructionism and procedural tri… Continue Reading


05.07.13

Harkin, Schakowsky Introduce Companion Resolutions in Support of Home Health Care

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) have introduced companion resolutions in the Senate and House to express support for expanded home health care services. Long-term services and supports for seniors and individuals with disabilities are proven to be cost-effective, and they enable Americans to live and participate in their communities. "Supporting and expanding access to affordable, quality long-term services and supports will help millions of Ameri… Continue Reading


05.07.13

Statement by Senator Tom Harkin On the Importance of the Prevention Fund to Save Lives and Money

WASHINGTON--Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committeeand of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies-and author of the prevention and public health title of the Affordable Care Act-spoke on the floor of the Senate about theimportance of the Prevention and Public Health fund to saving lives and money, and about his disappointment regarding the Administration's decision to ra… Continue Reading


04.26.13

Harkin, Alexander, Franken, Roberts Release Draft Bill to Make Clear Oversight Responsibilities for Pharmaceutical Compounding, Ensure Safety for Consumers

Washington, D.C., April 26- Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), with Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and other members of the HELP Committee, today released draft legislation that would improve the safety of compounded human and animal drugs by making clear the compounding oversight responsibilities of state and federal authorities. The draft legislation makes… Continue Reading


04.26.13

Draft Proposal on Pharmaceutical Compounding

This discussion draft reflects bipartisan efforts to develop consensus policy proposals regarding appropriate regulation of pharmaceutical compounding. Our goal is to solicit feedback on the policy merits, potential unintended consequences, and potential opportunities to improve the legislative language. The discussion draft is available below. Please submit your written comments to compounding@help.senate.gov by 6 PM on May 3, 2013. Please click here to see the discussion draft. Please click… Continue Reading


04.26.13

Draft Proposal on Pharmaceutical Compounding

This discussion draft reflects bipartisan efforts to develop consensus policy proposals regarding appropriate regulation of pharmaceutical compounding. Our goal is to solicit feedback on the policy merits, potential unintended consequences, and potential opportunities to improve the legislative language. The discussion draft is available below. Please submit your written comments to compounding@help.senate.gov by 6 PM on May 3, 2013. Please click here to see the discussion draft. Please click… Continue Reading

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