Ranking Member's Press

06.25.12

Harkin Floor Statement on FDA User Fee Bill

WASHINGTON--Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, spoke on the floor of the Senate to urge his colleagues to invoke cloture on the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Below is the full text of Harkin's statement, as prepared for delivery: "Mr. President, after many months of bipartisan negotiation, I have high hopes that the Senate will vote very shortly to invoke cloture on the House Message to accompan… Continue Reading


06.20.12

Harkin-Enzi Statement on House Passage of Bipartisan FDA User Fee Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (S.3187), which would reauthorize the user fee programs for the Food and Drug Administration: "We are pleased to see the House pass this important legislation, which will help patients, create jobs and save… Continue Reading


06.18.12

Harkin, Enzi, Upton and Waxman Announce Bipartisan Agreement on Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act

WASHINGTON, DC- Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) today announced a bipartisan agreement on the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, S 3187, which reauthorizes Food and Drug Administration user fees to ensure the continuation of various FDA programs and the creation of new ones to facilitate t… Continue Reading


06.05.12

Statement by Senator Tom Harkin on the Paycheck Fairness Act

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, spoke on the floor of the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to help close the wage gap. Today, an American woman makes an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. In Iowa, that figure is 83 cents for every dollar paid to men. To watch an excerpt of Senator Harkin's floor speech, click here. The full text of Harkin's statement is below, as pr… Continue Reading


06.05.12

Harkin Statement on Disney Nutritional Guidelines for Kids

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions applauded the Walt Disney Company for updating its nutritional standards and for announcing new guidelines ensuring that junk food won't be advertised on Disney's kid-targeted TV programming and websites: "I welcome Disney's new efforts to combat childhood obesity and commend them on this important progress. As a media company with a presence in millions of American households… Continue Reading


05.24.12

Harkin, Enzi Hail Senate Approval of Bipartisan FDA Safety and Innovation Act

WASHINGTON-Today, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued a joint statement welcoming Senate passage of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), bipartisan HELP Committee legislation that would ensure that the FDA can approve drugs and medical devices, save biomedical industry jobs, protect patient access to new therapies, and preserve America's global leadership in biomedical … Continue Reading


05.24.12

Harkin, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Families and Students Understand the True Cost of College

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today joined Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation so that families and students will gain a more accurate picture of exactly how much college will cost them before deciding which school to attend. Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. In addition to Harkin, the legislation was cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D… Continue Reading


05.21.12

In Floor Speech, Harkin Calls for Passage of Bipartisan FDA Safety and Innovation Act

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate to call for passage of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), a bill which passed out of the HELP Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support. Below is the full text of Harkin's remarks, as prepared for delivery: "Mr. President, after many months of bipartisan negotiation, I have high hopes that the Senate will pr… Continue Reading


05.15.12

Harkin Welcomes Administration Directions to Help Reduce Seclusion and Restraint

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the announcement by Education Secretary Arne Duncan of a new resource document aimed at reducing the use of seclusion and restraint practices in schools: "I am pleased that Secretary Duncan has affirmed today that the use of seclusion and restraint to discipline students is dangerous and outmoded," Harkin said. "I share Secretary Du… Continue Reading


05.08.12

Harkin: Time to Put Politics Aside to Protect Students

WASHINGTON-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today expressed his disappointment at the failure of a Senate cloture vote on a measure that will keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling in July, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Harkin helped develop and is one of the lead cosponsors of the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, a one-year freeze of the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans. This inter… Continue Reading


05.08.12

In Letter, Harkin Calls on Embattled NLRB Member Flynn to Resign

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, sent a letter to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Terence Flynn, requesting his resignation after the NLRB Inspector General uncovered Flynn's repeated ethics violations. The Inspector General's report uncovered violations of ethical standards including disclosure of confidential draft opinions to attorneys in private practice, including to former NLRB Members Peter… Continue Reading


05.07.12

Harkin Calls for Bipartisan Support to Keep Loan Rates from Doubling for 7.4 Million Students

WASHINGTON-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today called for bipartisan support for a measure that will keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling in July, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Harkin helped develop and is one of the lead cosponsors of the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, a one-year freeze of the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans. This interest rate extension is fully paid for b… Continue Reading


05.02.12

Harkin Calls for Resignation of NLRB Board Member Flynn

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement calling for the resignation of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Terence Flynn after the NLRB Inspector General revealed additional evidence that Flynn violated ethics rules by repeatedly providing confidential Board information to former Board Member Peter Schaumber: "I am deeply disturbed by the findings of today's Inspector General … Continue Reading


04.25.12

Reed, Harkin, Brown Seek to Keep Student Interest Rates Low

WASHINGTON, DC -In an effort to prevent the cost of college loans from doubling for millions of students, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have teamed up to introduce the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, a short-term remedy that will freeze the interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans for one year. The current fixed interest rate on federal Stafford subsidized loans, held by 7.4 million low and middle-income undergraduates, is … Continue Reading


04.25.12

Bipartisan FDA User Fee Reauthorization Is Good Starting Point

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today said the Committee's markup of FDA user fee reauthorization reflected a strong bipartisan effort. "Today's markup of the user fee agreement reauthorizations was an important step," said Harkin and Enzi. "At a time when Congress has been deeply divided, today's markup displayed strong bipartisan cooperation." Harkin and Enzi noted… Continue Reading


04.19.12

New GAO Report: Burdensome OSHA Regulatory Process Costs Lives

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Representative George Miller (D-CA), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) reacted to a new Government Accountability Office report on workplace safety, released at a HELP Committee hearing. The GAO compiled the report on burdensome rulemaking process the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must use to regulate workplace safety, an… Continue Reading


04.19.12

Harkin Statement at HELP Hearing, "Time Takes Its Toll: Delays in OSHA’s Standard-Setting Process and the Impact on Worker Safety”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "We are here today to discuss the important issue of workplace safety and, specifically, why it takes so long for OSHA to issue a new safety standard. We are going to hear from GAO about a new study finding that there are alarming delays in this process. But before I get into what the report says, I first want to talk about why delays at OSHA matter. Statistics tell us that 12 American workers are likely to die today from a workplace injury. Countless more will be… Continue Reading


04.18.12

Statement by Senator Tom Harkin on the Rebuild America Act

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 the Rebuild America Act, a bill he introduced to create good jobs, strengthen the economy, and rebuild America's middle class. Below is the full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery: "Mr. President: As Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I've come to the Senate floor on a number of occasions over the last… Continue Reading


04.18.12

Harkin, Enzi Announce FDA User Fee Committee Print

WASHINGTON - Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced the release of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act Committee Print that will be considered at next Wednesday's Committee markup. "This document represents a strong, bipartisan step towards the authorization of critically important legislation to ensure that the FDA can approve drugs, medical devi… Continue Reading


04.17.12

Harkin Statement on Equal Pay Day

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on Equal Pay Day, which falls on April 17th to mark the extra days a woman would have to work beyond 2011 and into 2012 to match the average wages of a man in 2011 alone. "When women earn less than men for the same work, we all suffer. Millions of American families rely on women breadwinners to put food on the table, pay for child care and educati… Continue Reading

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